New York Democrats nominate former Rep. Tom Suozzi to replace expelled Rep. George Santos in upcoming special election

 December 8, 2023

Ex-Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was expelled from Congress last week and Democrats wasted little time in lining up a replacement to fill the remainder of the disgraced Republican's term in office.

On Thursday, local and state-level New York Democrats announced that former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) had been nominated to return to his old 3rd District seat in Congress and serve out the rest of Santos' term, according to the Washington Examiner.

New York Republicans have not yet announced who they will nominate to replace Santos but have until Jan. 4 to do so ahead of a special election scheduled for Feb. 13 next year.

Tom Suozzi named as the Democratic nominee

A joint statement was issued Thursday by Jay Jacobs, chair of the Nassau County and New York State Democratic Parties, and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), chair of the Queens County Democratic Party, given that the 3rd District encompasses parts of both Nassau and Queens counties.

"Tom Suozzi has a proven record of fighting for his constituents, fighting to safeguard our suburban way of life here on Long Island and Queens and always advocating for sensible solutions to the real challenges affecting everyday average Americans," the two Democratic leaders said.

"We look forward to working with the Suozzi Campaign, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to restore integrity, competence and a focus on the real needs of our larger community in the Third Congressional District," they added.

Suozzi had already declared his intent to reclaim seat from Santos

After that nomination was announced, former Rep. Suozzi released a statement and said, "The folk from Massapequa and Levittown to the north shore of Nassau, to northeast Queens deserve better," in obvious reference to ex-Rep. Santos.

"I will work day and night with both parties to deliver for the people, to make living here more affordable, safer and better. I delivered for this district before, and I will do it again by putting you ahead of the partisanship," he added. "Let's reject the nonsense and get back to work. Let's fix this!"

Axios reported that former Rep. Suozzi previously served three terms as the 3rd District representative and even defeated Santos during an unsuccessful 2020 run for the Republican but then decided not to run for re-election in 2022 and instead launched a failed primary challenge against Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.

One factor that may have contributed to his being chosen as the Democratic nominee in the upcoming special election to replace Santos is that Suozzi had already announced in October his candidacy to try and oust Santos from Congress via normal means in the 2024 election.

Republicans knock Suozzi, Gov. Hochul, ahead of special election

As for the Republicans, while they have yet to pick their own nominee, that hasn't stopped them from immediately lambasting the Democratic choice of Suozzi to replace Santos.

Savannah Viar, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a press release, "Tom Suozzi’s attempted comeback tour will be playing all the hits: self-enrichment, defunding the police, and raising taxes (just to name a few). Voters will reject Suozzi just like they did in his failed bid for governor last year."

In light of that prior challenge by Suozzi against Gov. Hochul, Politico reported that the former rivals got together in recent days to "clear the air and discuss campaign strategy," but that revelation only delivered more ammunition for Republicans to use against the Democratic nominee.

The NRCC's Viar told the outlet, "Given that voters are already fed up with her handling of crime and the migrant crisis, Tom Suozzi prostrating himself for Kathy Hochul is bound to end poorly for him."

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