Politics

Who will replace George Santos? Live updates as special election kicks off – The Independent


Expelled representative George Santos leaves federal court on Long Island

A high-stakes special election in disgraced ex-congressman George Santos’ district goes to the polls today – in a race that will likely have implications for national politics.

In New York’s 3rd Congressional District, Republican newcomer Mazi Pilip is up against Tom Suozzi, a former three-term congressman who vacated the seat in 2021 to launch an unsuccessful run for governor.

Ms Pilip is an Ethiopian-born, former Israeli Defense Force paratrooper whose compelling backstory has Republicans touting her as a future star of the party.

The by-election has taken on added significance due to Republicans’ slim majority in the House of Representatives and is shaping up as a bellwether for how both parties are faring ahead of the 2024 general election.

The seat is up for grabs after Mr Santos was expelled from Congress in December last year following a series of embarrassing public revelations.

Just weeks after winning his race for Congress, the Republican lawmaker was revealed to have lied about large parts of his life and resume, including his education, Wall Street career and even his mother surviving the September 11 attacks.

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Poll shows tight race to take over disgraced congressman George Santos’s seat

A new poll shows a tight race between the two New York candidates running to replace disgraced former Rep George Santos in Congress.

According to the Newsday/Siena College poll put out on Thursday, 48 per cent of likely voters support former Democratic Rep Tom Suozzi, and 44 per cent support Republican candidate Mazi Melesa Pilip. Another 7 per cent are undecided.

The neck-and-neck findings come days before the special election on 13 February, for which early voting has already begun.

Ariana Baio13 February 2024 15:00

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Winter storm threatens voter turnout

A winter storm currently dumping inches of snow onto parts of Long Island is being watched closely today as voters in New York’s 3rd Congressional District head out to the polls in the special election to replace George Santos.

The heavy snow and slick roads may pose a problem for Republicans as they’re less likely to vote early by mail than Democrats.

Mazi Pilip, the Republican candidate, urged potential voters on Monday night to get out and vote regardless of the weather.

“Doesn’t matter if it’s going to rain or snow, we’re going to safety – will go out,” Ms Pilip said.

Ariana Baio13 February 2024 14:30

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He might have been booted out of Congress, but Santos just can’t help weighing in…

Rachel Sharp13 February 2024 14:05

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Who are NY-03 voters?

New York’s 3rd Congressional district straddles the New York borough of Queens and Nassau County in Long Island and was the nation’s fourth wealthiest by median household income in 2022.

An estimated 11 per cent of the voting population are Jewish.

The Israel-Hamas conflict stirred high emotions in the district, and both candidates have pledged unwavering support for the US ally.

Rachel Sharp13 February 2024 13:45

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What to know about the special election to replace George Santos

A high-stakes special election in disgraced ex-Congressman George Santos’ former district is being held on Tuesday 13 February, in a race that will likely have major implications for national politics.

The special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional district pits Republican newcomer Mazi Pilip up against Tom Suozzi, a former three-term congressman, who vacated the seat in 2021 to launch an unsuccessful run for governor.

Ms Pilip is an Ethiopian-born, former Israeli Defense Force paratrooper whose compelling backstory has Republicans touting her as a future star of the party.

The by-election has taken on added significance due to Republicans’ slim majority in the House, and is shaping up as a bellwether for how well both parties are faring ahead of the 2024 general election.

Rachel Sharp13 February 2024 13:24

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Tom Suozzi (Democrat)

Tom Suozzi, a safe choice former congressman from the area with decades of political experience, is the Democrat hope.

The 61-year-old former county executive who represented the 3rd congressional district for six years has made efforts to distance himself from President Biden, who continues to poll poorly and whom the Republicans are attempting to tie him to.

“I can pretty much guarantee the president is not going to be coming to campaign,” Suozzi said in the final days of the race. “I don’t think it would be helpful, just as I don’t think Donald Trump would be helpful to my opponent.”

“This race is really very local. It’s Suozzi versus Mazi.”

Tom Suozzi speaking in Plainview, New York

(AP)

Rod Ardehali13 February 2024 11:12

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Mazi Pilip (Republican)

Mazi Melesa Pilip, a mother of seven and Nassau County legislator, was nominated by New York Republicans in December.

Born in Ethiopia, Pilip immigrated to Israel in 1991 and served in the IDF as a gunsmith in the paratrooper unit while earning degrees from the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University. She later moved to the US with her husband. If elected, she would be the second Black Republican congresswoman.

Sticking close to tough Trump-style home affairs policies, Pilip said she would support securing the US border and building a wall, as well as tightening standards for asylum seekers and increasing the number of border patrol officers to clamp down on illegal migration.

Nassau County legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip

(John Lamparski/Sipa USA/AP)

Rod Ardehali13 February 2024 10:22

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George who?

A few quips aside, Mr Santos has been largely anonymous in debates and campaign speeches by the two candidates.

One thing is clear: New York’s 3rd Congressional district is ready to move on from the embarrassment of the scandal-plagued, federally-indicted George Santos.

Rod Ardehali13 February 2024 09:40



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Raven Asher

Hey there, I'm Raven Asher, a writer and blogger currently studying at McMaster University. My passion lies in arts and culture, and I love exploring and sharing my thoughts on different aspects of this field through my writing. I've been fortunate enough to have my articles featured on several blogs and news websites, which has allowed me to connect with readers from all over the world. Apart from writing, I'm also an avid traveler, and I love experiencing different cultures and learning new things. Join me on my journey as I explore the world and share my insights on everything art and culture!

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