(HorizonPost.com) – With the special election to replace expelled New York Rep. George Santos less than a week away, Democrats have been outspending Republicans by nearly $4 million hoping to flip the seat blue. However, Democrat candidate Tom Suozzi believes that his party will have a tough time of it, CNN reported.
Suozzi told CNN that New York Democrats have been losing elections in northeast Queens and Long Island as the party’s brand has taken a hit in recent years.
In the district that Joe Biden won by eight points in 2020, voters are especially angry with the president’s handling of illegal immigration and border security. Many of the illegal migrants bused to New York have been living in shelters located in the district.
New York Republicans have focused on the president’s failures at the border in a strategy that mirrors their 2022 focus on rising crime – a strategy Suozzi admits is still hurting Democrats in the state.
Suozzi, who previously represented District 3 before making a run for governor in 2022, is now facing an onslaught of Republican attack ads on immigration, forcing him to release two campaign ads defending his position.
When asked if he would have President Biden campaign for him in the district, Suozzi guaranteed that the president would not be coming, explaining that Biden would be no more help to him in the district than Donald Trump would be to his Republican challenger Mazi Melesa Pilip.
Pilip, an Ethiopian-born immigrant from Israel who served in the IDF, presents a difficult challenge for the Democrats, primarily because she is a registered Democrat herself, despite being nominated by local Republican Party leaders.
In its first attack ad against Pilip, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee smeared her as “hand-picked by MAGA,” a term that irritated Suozzi and his campaign who fear that labeling Pilip in this way could energize the Republican base in what is expected to be a low turnout special election.
When asked if he agreed with the label, Suozzi told CNN that the real problem with Pilip was that “we don’t know what she stands for.”
Pilip told CNN that she wouldn’t describe herself as a “MAGA Republican.” She said she, like most immigrants, registered to vote as a Democrat but said the Democrat Party left her and many others like her.
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