New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced this week that the special election to replace former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) would take place on Feb. 13, 2024. The move comes as the House GOP attempts to retain its fragile majority after Santos’ ouster.
The election may see the return of former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D) to Congress. Suozzi had challenged Hochul for the Democratic Party nomination for governor last year.
Suozzi said that he could be “another moderate voice” during a time of “strong political division.” The former representative served three terms in the post prior to leaving the position. Suozzi’s decision to vacate his former seat allowed Santos to win a close race in 2022.
Santos was removed from the House by his colleagues Friday, becoming the first representative to get the boot in more than 20 years.
“We both agree that the people of Nassau and Queens face big challenges and we need Congress to stop with the shenanigans and work together and fix these problems,” he said.
Suozzi will likely be nominated for the position by Democratic Party leaders. A public primary is not required for a special election.
Republicans have not announced a formal candidate yet, but are considering a veteran of the Israel Defense Force, Mazi Melesa Pilip, as one of the potential options.
“Ds are likely to pick Tom Suozzi, a moderate pro-Israel Democrat, while Republicans are eyeing Ethioipian Jewish IDF veteran Mazi Melesa Pilip” https://t.co/VFeKXjDCYQ
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) December 4, 2023
The former congressman was accused of a number of crimes, including defrauding political donors. Both federal law enforcement and a House Ethics Committee report accused Santos of using the funds for personal expenses, such as travel and botox.
Santos was also accused of preparing fraudulent documents related to his campaign.
Santos was expelled by a 311 to 114 vote. The former representative protested his removal and has since been making videos on the paid web service Cameo. One video included a request from Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), which appeared to be set up by Fetterman to criticize embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Currently, Republicans hold an eight-seat majority in the House.