New York Democrats on Thursday picked former Rep. Tom Suozzi (N.Y.) as their party’s nominee for the special election to replace Republican ex-Rep. George Santos (N.Y.), who was expelled from the House last week.
“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 partisanship. Let’s reject the nonsense and get back to work,” Suozzi said in a statement shared to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, shortly after news broke of his nomination.
Suozzi previously served in the New York’s 3rd District before leaving to launch a gubernatorial bid and had been widely expected to challenge the embattled Santos to regain his House seat.
Santos was ousted from the House after a brief tenure plagued with scandals.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced earlier this week that the special election to fill his vacancy will be held Feb. 13. Republicans in the state haven’t yet announced their nominee for the special contest.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the special election as a “toss-up” after Santos’s expulsion, and the seat is being looked at as a key pickup opportunity for Democrats.
“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,” Nassau County and New York state Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs and Rep. Gregory Meeks, the Queens County Democratic chair, said in a joint statement announcing the pick.
“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,” Jacobs and Meeks said.
Former state Sen. Anna Kaplan, a Democrat who was also running to succeed Santos, announced after the news of Suozzi’s nomination that she is suspending her campaign and endorsing Suozzi
“We need to start 2024 off right, and that means electing Tom Suozzi to flip this seat and get Democrats closer to the majority,” Kaplan said in a statement.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Suzan DelBene also congratulated Suozzi on the nomination.
“I look forward to Tom’s victory and serving alongside him once again to stand against MAGA extremism and to deliver for working families,” DelBene said in a statement.
National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Savannah Viar called Suozzi’s bid an “attempted comeback tour” and argued New Yorkers will “reject Suozzi just like they did in his failed bid for governor last year.”
House Majority PAC, congressional Democrats’ main super PAC, said the group “looks forward” to backing Suozzi in his effort to flip the seat blue.