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Tom Suozzi wins special NY election for House seat formerly held by George Santos

Tom Suozzi.

Democrat Tom Suozzi on Tuesday won a special election in New York for a congressional seat vacated when George Santos was expelled from Congress in December, The Associated Press and The New York Times reported.

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Suozzi, 61, defeated Republican Mazi Pilip to retake a seat he held for three terms, according to the AP. He left Congress to run unsuccessfully for governor of New York in 2022.

Pilip, 44, told supporters that she called Suozzi to congratulate him on his victory.

The vote in New York’s 3rd Congressional District was complicated by an Election Day snowstorm on Long Island, the Times reported.

Santos was expelled from the House in a 311-114 vote on Dec. 1. A total of 206 Democrats in the House, along with 105 Republicans, voted to oust the embattled Republican. He became the sixth member of the House to be expelled and the first to be ousted without a criminal conviction since the Civil War.

On Tuesday, both candidates offered voters free transportation to polling sites in Queens and Nassau County, according to the Times.

Democrats took back a district that President Joe Biden carried by eight points in 2020, the Times reported. Santos took the seat for the Republicans during the 2022 midterms.

The race was critical for Republicans, who saw their House advantage shrink by one seat to a 219-213 majority. The razor-thin margin was evident earlier Tuesday when the House voted 214-213 to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Approximately 80,000 people had already cast ballots through Sunday when the early voting period ended, the Times reported.

Suozzi is a former congressman who held the seat from 2017 to 2023.

Pilip is a mother of seven children who was born in Ethiopia, immigrated to Israel and served in the Israel Defense Forces before moving to the United States, The Washington Post reported.

Santos was expelled two weeks after the House Ethics Committee released a scathing report accusing the representative of having “blatantly stole from his campaign” and “sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”

According to the report, Santos illegally used campaign funds to pay for a holiday in the Hamptons, a honeymoon in Las Vegas and to make purchases at OnlyFans, Sephora, Hermes and Ferragamo. The committee said it was referring “substantial evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law” to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution.

Earlier in 2023, federal prosecutors charged Santos with nearly two dozen crimes, accusing him of stealing the identities of his family members and using credit cards from people who donated to his congressional run without authorization.

Santos broadly denied the allegations and accused lawmakers of bullying him. He refused to resign.