Suozzi swipes it back

In 2022 shapeshifter George Santos upset Democrat Robert Zimmerman in New York’s Third Congressional District to help Republicans take the majority in the House. It’s the wealthiest district in New York and one that President Biden carried by 8 points in the 2020 election. In 2022 Santos won the seat by a 54-46 percent margin in a race against Democrat pol Robert Zimmerman. Santos faces a 23-count indictment for fraud and identity theft. Having been expelled from the House, Santos’s Third District seat was vacant. The special election to fill it was held yesterday.

In 2022 Democrat incumbent Tom Suozzi had stood down to seek the Democrat gubernatorial nomination. He returned as the Democratic candidate to recapture the seat for the Dems against Republican candidate Mazi Melesa Pilip. In the event yesterday, Suozzi prevailed by the same 54-46 percent margin with which Santos had taken the seat in 2022.

Pilip was an attractive if inexperienced candidate who emphasized the issue of illegal immigration. Suozzi is a known commodity and former incumbent. In 2020, Suozzi defeated Santos by 12 points.

This time around, Suozzi held himself out as an opponent of Biden’s open borders. For some reason, however, Democrats are team players and their caucus functions as a blob. Long Island voters may assess Suozzi to be sane, but do they really think it matters?

Yesterday’s snowstorm can’t have helped Pilip. Neither can the shadow of Santos. However, the outcome doesn’t require much explanation. From a distance, it appears that Suozzi was the better candidate who appears to have run the better race. Democrats poured money into it to support him.

The outcome is a disappointment, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. It inarguably narrows the vanishing House Republican majority to 219-213, with two seats vacant. Republicans got the Mayorkas impeachment in just under the wire.

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