Voting opens in NY election for 3rd Congressional District – NBC New York

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By Dan Sears

What to Know

  • Little-known Nassau County legislator and former Israeli paratrooper Mazi Pilip will face off against Democratic former congressman Tom Suozzi in a Feb. 13 special election for seat formerly occupied by George Santos
  • The selection pits Pilip, a relatively unknown local lawmaker originally from Ethiopia, against a political veteran in Suozzi, who previously represented the district for six years during a lengthy career in Long Island politics
  • The election has drawn significant attention as both parties zero in on New York as a potential battleground for control of the House

Polls opened Saturday in New York’s hotly-contested special election to fill George Santos’ seat in the 3rd Congressional District, which covers parts of Long Island and Queens.

New Yorkers can cast their ballots for Republican Mazi Pilip or Democrat Tom Suozzi ahead of the Feb. 13 election. Early voting runs for nine days.

The seat has been empty since late last year, when Santos became only the sixth lawmaker in history to be expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Nearly a dozen polling sites are open across Nassau County; make sure to double check their hours before heading to cast a ballot, some days close earlier than others. Voting hours also vary in Queens; find the full list here.

The first day of early voting in Queens drew approximately 1,344 voters to the polls, the NYC Boards of Elections posted Saturday night.

The election has drawn significant attention as both parties zero in on New York as a potential battleground for control of the House.

The selection pits Pilip, a relatively unknown local lawmaker originally from Ethiopia, against a political veteran in Suozzi, who previously represented the district for six years during a lengthy career in Long Island politics.

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Republicans picked Pilip after vetting a number of potential candidates following the expulsion of Santos from Congress earlier this month for fabricating much of his life story and being criminally charged with defrauding donors.

Politico reported last week that Pilip is a registered Democrat, though she holds her current position as a Republican and has been backed by Republicans when she was running for county office. The arrangement is not entirely uncommon in states that have closed primaries, where so-called crossover voters who identify with one party register under another so they can vote in primary elections.

Suozzi was tapped by Democrats after emerging as the party’s frontrunner for the nomination. His extensive political experience could be a major advantage when it comes to name recognition and fundraising for the special election.

Suozzi, a centrist Democrat, was elected to the House in 2016 and won reelection in 2020, before leaving to launch the unsuccessful campaign for governor. He also served as the mayor of Glen Cove from 1994 to 2001, and as Nassau County’s elected executive from 2002 to 2009.

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News 4’s Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

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