Oct 10, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi launches comeback bid against George Santos

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday announced his run for the House seat held by embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.).

Why it matters: The seat, which voted for President Biden in the 2020 presidential election, is a top target for House Democrats and Suozzi would likely be a formidable primary and general election candidate.

Driving the news: Suozzi, in a statement, announced he will run for his old seat in New York’s 3rd district, which covers parts of Queens and Long Island.

  • “The madness in Washington, DC, and the absurdity of George Santos remaining in the United States Congress, is obvious to everyone,” Suozzi said.
  • Suozzi said he wants to bring “sanity and reason back to Washington.”

The context: The former mayor and county executive first won election to the seat in 2016 before opting to mount an unsuccessful bid for governor last year.

  • Santos beat DNC member Robert Zimmerman in November, but later that month it emerged he had fabricated wide swaths of his resume on the campaign trail.
  • Santos is under federal indictment on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and lying to Congress. He has pleaded not guilty.

What we’re watching: Santos’ troubles have attracted a large field of candidates seeking to take his seat, both in the Democratic and Republican primaries.

  • If Santos is convicted and forced to give up his seat next year, it could prompt a special election to replace him.
  • Suozzi, a moderate with a strong electoral record, could be Democrats’ dream recruit, having previously beat Santos by nearly 13 points in 2020.
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