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Special Election Update: With Santos Out, Tom Suozzi Secures a Seat for NHP's District

By Daniel Zekthi


On February 14, 2024 Democrat Tom Suozzi secured a seat in the House of Representatives as the winner of the special election. He beat his opponent, Republican Mazi Pilip, with a slight majority of 53.9%. He will now represent New York’s Third Congressional District in the House until January 2025, when the winner of the November election to the same district will start a full term.


Recently, George Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives. Santos, a Republican, represented New York’s 3rd congressional district, after being elected on November 8, 2022 as part of a large victory for Republicans in New York. He beat Robert Zimmerman, the Democratic nominee, with 53.8% of the vote. Santos represented the majority of NHP, with only a small section south of Jericho Turnpike not being included in his district. 


Before he was inaugurated on January 3, 2023, Representative George Santos had already been embroiled in controversy. On December 19, 2022, the New York Times published an article concerning suspected falsehoods he had put on his resume; this led to members of his own party calling for his resignation, but Santos refused. In May of 2023, he confessed to committing check fraud in Brazil. In the same month, he was charged by a federal court, but House Republicans refused to expel him. 


Source by Zahra Mazkur

After months of controversy, George Santos' removal from the House of Representatives has finally concluded, with Tom Suozzi filling his role.


“Essentially he was kept there because the majority of the Republicans was so slim that they didn't want to lose a vote. However you could also claim that he's 'innocent until proven guilty,’ but boy did he look guilty,” AP Government teacher Mr. Galvin said. 


“Santos has lied about many aspects of his life such as his ancestry and former occupations. There is no place in the House for a fraudulent and scandalous person,” sophomore Arvin Ghai said. 


But after the House Ethics Committee released a report on him, the House voted 311–114 to expel him. To fill the vacant spot, a special election was held on February 13. 


The candidates for the election were Democrat Tom Suozzi, the previous representative of the district from 2017 until 2023, and Republican Mazi Melesa Pilip, who served in the Nassau County Legislature. A poll by Emerson College, distributed before the election, showed that Suozzi was slightly favored to win. 


Suozzi’s victory in the election resulted in a 219-213 majority for Republicans in the House. This decreases the Republican’s House majority, especially significant considering how close the parties’ opposing numbers are against each other. According to NBC News, hours before the special election’s polls closed, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ impeachment was voted upon by the House. The Republicans passed the impeachment by one vote; however, in the future, Suozzi’s election into the House may alter the outcome of votes such as these.


Students at NHP have varying opinions about the election concerning its relevance and overall impact on their lifestyles.


“People don’t talk about it [the special election] a lot, as compared to a federal election like the President. It’s less connected to me,” senior Rajiv Singh said. 


“I think this election will be interesting, considering the last person to win it was one of the biggest con men we’ve seen in modern day politics,” senior Guneet Hanjra said. “I hope people genuinely attempt to educate themselves about who they’re voting for, and hopefully our new representative isn’t a notorious liar, although politicians at large are notorious liars.”


The final votes were counted on February 13; however, the bleak weather conditions greatly decreased turnout. The election was called at around 11:00 pm, and it revealed a victory for Democrat Tom Suozzi. 

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