The Democrats have chosen Tom Suozzi as their candidate for the special election to replace the vacant seat previously held by former Rep. George Santos (R-New York), who was expelled from the House last week.

Suozzi had previously served as the representative for New York’s Congressional District 3 and had later run against Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) in the gubernatorial race last year.

In a statement, he said he accepted the nomination.

“The folks from Massapequa and Levittown to the north shore of Nassau, to northeast Queens deserve better,” he said, vowing to make living “more affordable, safer and better.”

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Suozzi is set to compete against the candidate chosen by the Republican party for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers Queens and western Long Island, in a special election taking place on February 13.

The Empire State Republicans have two options to choose from: Michael Sapraicone, a former detective from the New York Police Department who now runs a private security company, and Mazi Pilip, an Ethiopia-born veteran of the Israel Defense Forces who serves as a legislator in Nassau County.

Santos publicly supported Sapraicone, stating on X (formerly Twitter) that Sapraicone has the necessary financial resources and organizational capabilities, with $300,000 already contributed to his own campaign, to compete strongly against Suozzi and demonstrate that NY-3 is a firmly Republican district.

Suozzi, a committed moderate, was chosen by the heads of the Democratic parties in Queens and Nassau Counties, over former state Sen. Anna Kaplan and other candidates who had less chance of success.

However, the choice was made after receiving significant input from Democratic leaders at both the state and national levels, with a number of them being from New York, such as House Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York).

Suozzi, who has a strong connection with Jeffries, was virtually assured of securing the nomination from the beginning.

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