Suozzi enters race for former House seat amid Santos’ troubles

Former Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi announced Tuesday he will run for his old seat next year. | John Minchillo/AP

NEW YORK — Former Rep. Tom Suozzi announced Tuesday his comeback bid for his former Long Island seat now held by Rep. George Santos amid ongoing speculation that Santos’ legal troubles may lead him to leave office.

Suozzi eschewed running for another House term last year and instead ran unsuccessfully in a Democratic primary for governor, a move that angered Democrats and left them weaker in the 3rd congressional district that includes parts of Queens.

But now Suozzi said he’s gearing up to run again in what could be a primary next year or, more immediately, a special election if Santos ends up resigning as he faces federal charges on an array of financial misdeeds. Santos has a key court date later this month, and his former campaign treasurer entered a guilty plea last week.

“Today I’m filing a committee to run for Congress in November 2024,” Suozzi said in a statement. “The madness in Washington, D.C., and the absurdity of George Santos remaining in the United States Congress is obvious to everyone.”

Suozzi said he expects a formal campaign kickoff after the local elections Nov. 7.

The move comes as the parties gear up in New York in at least six House races that are expected to be competitive as they battle next year over control of the chamber. One of those will be the Santos’ seat, and several Democrats are already vying to be the party’s nominee.

If Santos resigns, a special election would be called, and county party leaders would pick a nominee.

On the Democratic side, Zak Malamed raised $302,000 in the last three months, leaving him with $524,000 on hand. Malamed is a Democratic fundraiser, but other announced Democrats like former state Sen. Anna Kaplan and 2022 candidate Josh Lafazan have been bringing in big money too, tapping into that anti-Santos spirit.

Kaplan knocked Suozzi’s entry into the race.

“After almost a year of this district having embarrassing representation, Tom Suozzi thinks voters on Long Island have forgotten that he abandoned us to George Santos,” Kaplan said in a statement. “The Democratic Party is a pro-choice party, and unlike Tom Suozzi, I will always stand up for a woman’s right to choose — period.”

“Cuomo apologist and third-place loser Tom Suozzi just couldn’t stay away after his embarrassing loss for governor last year. Voters resoundingly rejected him already and they haven’t forgotten why.” said National Republican Campaign Committee Spokesperson Savannah Viar.

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