Dems Flip Seat Formally Held by George Santos

By Jerry McConway, updated on February 14, 2024

The special election for the House seat that was held by former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has concluded.

It was not the outcome the Republican Party had hoped for, dealing RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel another black eye.

Talking Points…
- Election results
- Trump responds
- Analysis

Tom Suozzi Handily Beats Republican Mazi Pilip

As of 9:30 a.m. this morning, 93 percent of the votes had been counted, and Democrat Tom Suozzi was projected to win. He was leading Republican Mazi Pilip at 53.9% to 46.1%, equating to about 13,000 votes. This was a far bigger margin than recent polling had hinted at, as this was touted as being a neck-and-neck race.

Suozzi was very successful in painting Pilip as an extremist and a repeat of George Santos, pushing that narrative right through to election day, telling voters:

"Who knows what she really stands for? She's George Santos 2.0. It's the exact same nontransparent, phony baloney, just trying to get votes instead of saying what you really think."

He further claimed that Pilip was "totally in line with Mike Johnson and Donald Trump," even though Donald Trump never endorsed Pilip, and she kept him at arm's length during the election cycle.

Pilip tried to push back on the claims, pushing the immigration angle to try to defeat Suozzi, stating:

"You know, he is the one who opened the southern border. He voted with Biden 100% of the time. He supported squad members 90% of the time, he is the one who caused the migrant crisis."

Trump Responds

Donald Trump could not wait to brag about the defeat, claiming that had Pilip come into the fold, she probably would have won this election. Trump called Pilip a "foolish woman" after her loss, stating:

"Republicans just don't learn, but maybe she was still a Democrat? I have an almost 99% Endorsement Success Rate in Primaries, and a very good number in the General Elections, as well, but just watched this very foolish woman, Mazi Melesa Pilip, running in a race where she didn't endorse me and tried to 'straddle the fence,' when she would have easily WON if she understood anything about MODERN DAY politics in America."

As noted above, Pilip tried to keep Trump at arms' length during the election, saying that if he was convicted of a crime, she would not support him for president in the upcoming election.


This is an absolute disaster for Republicans, who now only hold a six-seat advantage once Suozzi is sworn in, which means they have a total of two votes to spare in any floor vote. It also goes to show the problem with the RNC. Pilip was not a well-known candidate and received very little support from the RNC in this race to build her profile, mostly because she was not aligning herself completely with Trump.

This is not a good look for the party or Donald Trump, who is now gloating over a Republican defeat. This is why I warned about installing all Trump surrogates atop the RNC because Trump wants them aligned with him rather than their constituents. This is a warning sign for down-ballot elections in the 2024 general election, so I hope people are paying attention.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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