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Key Points from the New York Special Election Debate

Credits: Herald Community Newspapers

In the sole debate between Democratic former Rep. Tom Suozzi and Republican Nassau County legislator Mazi Pilip, the focus shifted away from the district’s disgraced former Rep. George Santos.

The debate, marked by heated exchanges, delved into national issues such as immigration and abortion, reflecting the broader concerns of New York’s 3rd Congressional District and the nation.

While Suozzi occasionally referenced Santos, often suggesting Pilip’s “unvetted” status, the discussion largely avoided the fantastical fiasco that had gripped the district in the previous year. Dominating the conversation were topics like immigration, abortion, the economy, and Israel.

Election Debate (Credits: ABC7 New York)

The candidates sought to outdo each other in proclaiming their support and credentials on the Israel issue. Both Suozzi and Pilip downplayed ties to their respective parties, recognizing the moderate nature of the suburban district.

Suozzi, with a history of holding multiple offices in Nassau County, comes into the race as the more well-known candidate. He left his House seat in 2022 to run for governor, and after that attempt failed and the Santos saga concluded, he became the apparent choice for Long Island Democrats.

Pilip, a less familiar face, brings a unique background to the race. Born in Ethiopia, she emigrated to Israel as a child, where she attended school and served in the Israel Defense Forces. Despite being a registered Democrat, she has pledged to change her party affiliation after the election.

While Suozzi advocated for more debates, the candidates settled on a one-night only showdown after prolonged negotiations. With early voting already underway, leaders from both parties view this race as a crucial bellwether for the general election.

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