AP declares former Democratic representative as winner in NY House race against IDF veteran

Former US representative Tom Suozzi speaks during a campaign canvass kick off event, February 11, 2024, in Plainview New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Former US representative Tom Suozzi speaks during a campaign canvass kick off event, February 11, 2024, in Plainview New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Democrat Tom Suozzi has won a special election in New York for the US House seat that was left vacant when Republican George Santos was expelled from Congress.

Suozzi defeats Republican Mazi Pilip to retake a seat he held for three terms before giving it up to run, unsuccessfully, for governor.

The victory narrows the slim Republican majority in the House and gives Democrats a much-needed win in New York City’s Long Island suburbs, where the GOP showed surprising strength in recent elections.

Born in Ethiopia, Pilip was part of a community of 14,500 Black Orthodox Jews who were airlifted to Israel to escape civil war and famine in 1991. She was 12 at the time. Pilip later served in the Israel Defense Forces, then moved to the US after marrying a Ukrainian-American doctor in 2005. She became a US citizen in 2009 and was elected to Nassau County’s legislature in 2021.

Congressional candidate Mazi Pilip greets attendees at her GOP fundraiser event hosted by the Nassau County Republican Committee on February 5, 2024, in Jericho, New York. (AP Photo/Brittainy Newman)

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