Democrat Thomas Suozzi launches bid to take back Jorge Santos’ seat

Long Island Democrat Thomas Suozzi announced Tuesday he is seeking to reclaim his former congressional seat, now held by scandal-plagued Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), joining a growing number of candidates vying for the seat , amid speculation that Santos could be forced out. out of the office.

Suozzi said Tuesday that he is filing a committee to run for Congress next year and that he will launch a formal campaign after local elections in November.

“The madness in Washington, DC, and the absurdity of George Santos remaining in the United States Congress are clear to all,” Suozzi said in a statement. statement Social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Suozzi has held New York’s 3rd Congressional District seat three times and defeated Santos when she ran for office for the first time in 2020.

George Santos’ campaign bookkeeper pleads guilty in NY federal court

Suozzi left her congressional seat last year to launch a bid for governor, but lost to incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul (D). Before serving in Congress, Suozzi was the Nassau County Executive and Mayor of Glen Cove, NY

Last week, Nancy Marks, the former bookkeeper for the Santos campaign, pleaded guilty to making false statements, obstructing federal campaign regulators, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a congressional fraud and money-laundering indictment.

Santos was charged in May with multiple financial crimes, including allegations that he defrauded campaign donors by misappropriating funds and lying about his work status to receive unemployment benefits, which he received during the pandemic. Were not entitled. He is also accused of falsifying information on necessary financial paperwork submitted to the House of Representatives.

The new MLA, who announced his bid for re-election in April, has denied all the allegations.

The congressman’s scandals brought him national notoriety when it was revealed that he had made a surprising number of false claims about his background and qualifications while seeking office.

Suozzi has been a long-time critic of Santos. In an op-ed for The New York Times shortly before Santos was sworn into office in January, Suozzi called his successor “a fraud.” He called for Santos to be “removed from office by Congress or prosecutors, as there is no indication that he would be moved by conscience to resign voluntarily.”

Some other Democratic contenders seeking Santos’ seat include Democratic fundraiser Zak Malamed, former NY State Senator Anna Kaplan and Nassau County legislature member Josh Lafazan.

In statements Tuesday, Malamed and Kaplan both criticized Suozzi for giving up her congressional seat to run for governor.

“The last time Tom Suozzi represented this district, he decided to step down and launch a long-shot gubernatorial campaign, paving the way for Jorge Santos,” Malamed said. “Long Island voters know better than to give him a second chance when he comes crawling back after making money as a lobbyist.”

Kaplan said Suozzi “thinks Long Island voters have forgotten they left us for George Santos.”

She said, “The Democratic Party is a pro-choice party, and unlike Tom Suozzi, I will always stand up for a woman’s right to choose — period.”

Santos also faces a handful of Republican primary challengers, including investment banker and Afghanistan war veteran Kellen Curry, former New York Police Department detective Mike Sapricone and former member of the Israel Defense Forces Daniel Norber.

Shayna Jacobs and Isaac Stanley-Baker contributed to this report.

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