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Tom Suozzi replaces George Santos in New York's third district

Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, April 23, 2020.
House Television
Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Democrat Tom Suozzi has won the special election in New York’s third congressional district to replace ousted Rep. George Santos. Voters on Long Island and in a small part of Queens battled a snowstorm on Tuesday to get to the polls, leaving House Republicans with an even slimmer majority in the House.

The critical Democratic win bucks a trend on Long Island that has seen voters elect a slew of Republican leaders since 2021.

At a gathering of supporters in Woodbury on Tuesday night, Suozzi said his victory shows that voters are tired of division in Washington and want to send a proven problem-solver to Congress.

“It's time to find common ground and start delivering for the people of the United States of America,” Suozzi said. “The people are watching. They want us to start working together. So our message is very clear: either get on board or get out of the way.”

Suozzi beat Pilip by about eight percentage points, flipping the seat from red to blue and taking back the seat he held from 2017 through 2022.

In an example of just how polarizing politics have become in the district and across the country, Suozzi’s address was temporarily interrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters chanting, “You support genocide.”

Pilip called Suozzi to concede the race last night. Addressing a group of her supporters in East Meadow, she told them, “We lost, but it doesn’t end here.”

Suozzi will have to win reelection in just nine months to keep the seat.

The race has been watched closely across the country as an indicator of public sentiment ahead of the November elections.

The migrant crisis at the southern border — and its impacts on New York City and the suburbs — played a dominant role throughout the race.

The seat opened up last year after the House expelled George Santos over ethical violations.

This story has been updated.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.
A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.