Special election held for New York’s 3rd Congressional District
Monday, February 12, 2024
Tomorrow is the special election in New York's 3rd Congressional District to replace George Santos.
The candidates are Democrat Thomas Suozzi, a former 3rd District representative who left office in 2022 to run for governor, and Republican Mazi Pilip, a freshman Nassau County legislator. District residents are eager to have new representation, but the memory of Santos makes some wary about the choices.
Anthony Zrake, an attorney and longtime 3rd District constituent whose representation recently changed due to redistricting, feels the bar has been lowered for what a member of Congress should be, but said they should still meet certain specifications.
"I want someone who is competent to do the job and serious about the job, and Suozzi certainly fits the bill on both of those," Zrake contended. "I want someone who is going to be able to work across the aisle. I don't need, you know, a Jim Jordan, screaming and getting nothing done." He referred to the colorful Republican House member from Ohio.
Contender Mazi Pilip has a challenging task, since there is a feeling Santos damaged Republicans' credibility, but Pilip herself has confounded voters with her mixed messaging. She is a registered Democrat running as a Republican, and has not provided clear answers on certain issues. Polls show it's a close race, with a four-point gap between her and Suozzi.
Kimberly Keiserman, who led Concerned Citizens of NY03, a group of residents who worked to have Santos expelled, is grateful the expulsion is part of the district's past. But she feels slighted by Nassau County and some congressional Republicans who supported Santos, despite a report showing they were aware of his credibility problems.
"They never really explained themselves, why they did that," Keiserman pointed out. "Why they didn't act more assertively to help citizens, like us from Concerned Citizens of New York 03, who were trying to get him expelled from office? They never really explained that."
The 3rd District is one of four open seats in the U.S. House. Given the narrow majority Republicans hold, whoever wins these seats could tip the scales of power in the chamber.
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