Five things to watch in the race to replace George Santos

Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Mazi Pilip will face off in Tuesday's special election to replace former Rep. George Santos.

GREAT NECK, N.Y. — Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District might do more than replace disgraced GOP former Rep. George Santos in the House. It could also have implications beyond Long Island, from the House majority to November’s elections. 

Democratic former Rep. Tom Suozzi faces Republican Mazi Pilip, a Nassau County legislator and Ethiopian immigrant who served in the Israel Defense Forces. Suozzi entered the race with high name recognition — he represented the 3rd District before he made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2022. 

And while Suozzi and his Democratic allies have outspent Republicans on the airwaves, strategists in both parties expect a close race Tuesday.

Here are five things to watch as voters head to the polls, which close at 9 p.m. ET:

The GOP holds a paper-thin House majority that got even thinner after Santos’ expulsion. The margin is 219 Republicans to 212 Democrats. A victory would give the GOP a small cushion in key votes, while a defeat would put even greater pressure on them to compromise with Democrats in order to govern.

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