Nassau County Republicans have chosen Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip (R-Great Neck) as their nominee in the Feb. 13 special election to replace George Santos.
Pilip will be facing former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who held the seat from 2017 to 2023.
Pilip is originally from Ethiopia and is Jewish. She emigrated to Israel as part of Operation Solomon and served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) before coming to the United States.
Pilip won election to the Nassau County Legislature in 2021, and won re-election for the seat in November.
“Mazi Pilip is a formidable candidate with a unique biography: a former IDF paratrooper and mother of seven,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Richard Hudson said in a statement. Mazi’s incredible life of service stands in stark contrast to career politician Tom Suozzi, who uses his office to make life better for himself instead of his community. With Mazi in Congress, Long Islanders will have a representative who stands up to the extreme Hochul-Suozzi agenda making New York less safe and more expensive.”
Although she holds office as a Republican, Politico reported that she has been a registered Democrat since 2012.
Kim Devlin, an advisor for Suozzi’s campaign, did not mention Pilip in response to Republicans choosing her.
“People are sick and tired of the circus in Congress,” Devlin said. “Tom Suozzi has a proven record that he will work every day to try and bring common sense back to Washington by working across party lines, like he’s always done. His focus is on helping families get ahead, improving veteran health care, cleaning our air and water, and protecting our suburban quality of life.”
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