Democrats have begun strategizing and fundraising after Friday's expulsion of Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., with an eye toward flipping a key House seat via special election.
The race to replace Santos in the Long Island district (NY-03) is expected to be highly competitive and expensive, according to multiple reports, including Axios. The Democrat front-runner appears to be former Rep. Tom Suozzi, a three-term congressman who already beat Santos in 2020 but didn't seek reelection when he made a failed run at governor.
Suozzi already announced in October that he'd be running in 2024 to reclaim his seat in a district that President Joe Biden won by 8 points in the 2020 presidential election. Former state Sen. Anna Kaplan is another option for Nassau County Democrat leaders to consider running in the special election, which will happen in a few months.
"It's a sad chapter in the history of Nassau County and it's a sad chapter in our country's history, and now we have to move forward. We're going to, as I said, work expeditiously to nominate the best candidate who's got the best chance of winning," New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said Friday. He also leads the Nassau County party.
Jacobs said he's consulting with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, against whom Suozzi ran a contentious campaign, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), among others, to recommend a candidate.
Meanwhile, the Nassau Republican Committee plans to interview 22 potential candidates.
"We'll engage an outside firm and we'll come up with the best candidate," said Nassau Republican Committee Chairman Joe Cairo.
Democrats appear willing to spend whatever it takes to reclaim the seat, with some campaigns fundraising off Santos' ouster earlier Friday.
"This special will be competitive ... and EXPENSIVE," the DCCC said in an email blast.
Democrat Rep. Katie Porter, running for a Senate seat in California, asked donors to "split a donation right now between my campaign and the NY-03 Special Election Nominee Fund to help Democrats flip Santos's seat blue."
Democrats are also looking to seize on a messaging opportunity aimed at House Republican leadership, most of whom — including Speaker Mike Johnson — voted against expelling Santos.
"No matter how hard they try to spin history, Long Island Republicans knew from the start that George Santos was a serial liar who has no business representing Long Islanders in Congress," said DCCC spokesperson Ellie Dougherty. "We'll make sure voters know who's responsible for enabling distrust and corruption in New York's 3rd Congressional District — and that's the Republican Party."
Meanwhile, in Maryland, another Democrat announced his candidacy and fundraising pitch off the plight of Santos.
"Now let's send a real gay, Latino, Jew to Congress," posted Joe Vogel, running for the House seat in Maryland's 6th Congressional District, where Democrat incumbent Rep. David Trone is running for Senate.
Vogel could be the first openly gay Gen Z member of Congress and just the 14th out LGBTQ member, according to The Hill.
"Unlike George Santos, we're going to Congress to solve problems not create drama. And we don't use our campaign funds on Botox — we're instead using the money you chip in to build an organizing program all across #MD06," he posted to X, formerly Twitter.
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.