Tom Suozzi

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who faced an Election Day vote deficit against a Republican challenger, has taken the lead in his race after absentee ballots began to be tallied.

Suozzi received the vast majority of absentee votes in his district as of Monday. In Suozzi’s race against Republican George Santos, the incumbent has taken an approximately 13,000-vote lead in the count, after trailing by 4,171 votes after Election Day. While the race has not been formally certified by the boards of elections in New York City, Nassau County, or Suffolk County — the Third Congressional District stretches from western Suffolk to eastern Queens — the lawmaker appears to be headed back to his post come January. 

“I’m very happy that I’m going to be returning to my position,” Suozzi said on Monday. “I’m even more confident now then I was then.”

While only around 30 percent of the absentee ballots cast in Suozzi’s district have been counted, he’s so far won about 79 percent of the absentee votes counted. With about 60,000 absentee ballots left to count in Queens, Suffolk, and Nassau, Suozzi predicts he’ll win the race by 20,000 votes.

“I’m not declaring victory just yet,” Suozzi said. ” I just think that I will win once all the votes are counted.”

The absentee ballots cast in the congressional race will likely be fully counted by the end of the week. While Queens and Nassau began counting the ballots in the race on Wednesday, elections workers in Suffolk began counting the ballots on Monday.

Santos did not respond to requests for comment.

In two other closely watched congressional races on Long Island, New York State Assemblyman Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) declared himself the winner over Democrat Jackie Gordon on election night in his bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). And U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) declared victory in his bid for a fourth term representing the East End of Long Island against Democratic challenger and Stony Brook University professor Nancy Goroff.

Neither Goroff nor Gordon have conceded their races.

-With Timothy Bolger

This story first appeared on QNS.com

Related Story: Garbarino Declares Win Over Gordon

Related Story: Zeldin Declares Victory Over Goroff

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