Politics 2024

Tom terrific: Suozzi beats Pilip by 8 points


In the end, it wasn’t even close.

After weeks of seemingly endless negative television commercials promoting Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican-Conservative Mazi Pilip, Suozzi defeated Pilip by more than 7 points on Tuesday. He will replace Rep. George Santos, who was removed from Congress, in the 3rd CD, which covers portions of northern Nassau and eastern Queens.

With all election districts counted by 1 am Wednesday, this was the unofficial tally:

Suozzi — 91,338 (53.70%)

Pilip —  78,229 (45.99%)

Suozzi’s victory narrows the thin majority Republicans have in the House of Representatives, where that majority has allowed them to block key legislation passed by the Senate, including border security fixes and aid to Israel and Ukraine.

More than $22 million was spent on this election — $13.8 million by Democrats and $8.1 million by the GOP, according to ad tracker AdImpact, Politico reported.

“Despite all the attacks, despite all the lies about Tom Suozzi and the Squad, about Tom Suozzi being the ‘godfather of the migrant crisis,’ about ‘sanctuary Suozzi’ — we won,” Suozzi told cheering supporters at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

His victory lap was interrupted by two or three protesters, one displaying a Palestinian flag and another shouting “you support genocide.” Both candidates back Israel and the Jewish state’s right to self-defense.

“There are divisions in our country where people can’t even talk to each other,” Suozzi said, referencing the protesters. “All they can do is yell and scream at each other.”

The winner will finish Santos’ unexpired tern through December. An election for a full term that begins next Jan. 2 will take place in November.

Pilip thanked supporters at her post-vote gathering, at The Lannin in East Meadow.

“We are fighters,” she said. “Yes, we lost, but it doesn’t mean we are going to end here. We’re going to continue to fight, to bring commonsense government.”

Suozzi said that what the 3rd District race focused on was “much like the issues across the country.”

The Biden-Harris presidential campaign found national implications in the race.

“Donald Trump lost again tonight,” it said. “When Republicans run on Trump’s extreme agenda — even in a Republican-held seat —voters reject them.

“Trump and the MAGA extremists in the House are already paying the political price for derailing a bipartisan deal to secure our borders and fix our broken immigration system.”

“People of Long Island and Queens are sick of the political bickering,” Suozzi said. “They want us to come together and solve problems.

“It’s time to move beyond the petty partisan bickering and the finger-pointing. It’s time to focus on how to solve the problems. It’s time to get to work — on immigration, on Israel, on combatting Putin, on helping the middle class, and on getting the state and local tax deduction back.

“Let’s send a message to our friends running the Congress these days — stop running around for Trump and start running the country.”

Concluding his remarks, Suozzi said that “we’ve all seen what politics has become. In this campaign we’ve tried to give a vision of what it could be.”

Asked what Tuesday’s results might portend for November, Republican Howard Kopel of the Five Towns, the Nassau Legislature’s presiding officer, said, “We wind up and start again. Maybe we’ll get him next time.”