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Why New York’s special election is getting special attention

Tom Suozzi speaks at an election rally in Floral Park.

Tom Suozzi speaks at an election rally in Floral Park.

SOPA Images

Long Islanders are heading to the polls on Tuesday to replace disgraced Republican Rep. George Santos.

The special election between Republican Mazi Pilip and Democrat Tom Suozzi is a test run for upcoming state and national elections. Both parties want to show they can win on issues like immigration and abortion in the battleground district.

In recent state elections, abortion has been a rallying cry for Democrats when restrictions have been on the ballot. But in Long Island, which isn’t considering restrictions, the issue may fall flat. Pilip has said she supports a woman’s right to choose, taking the air out of Suozzi’s accusations that she is radically pro-life.

But immigration is a more tangible concern. Unlike the rest of the country – where suburbs are trending blue – crime and, more recently, immigration, have turned Long Island red in the last three election cycles.

That’s why almost all of Pilip’s budget has been spent on immigration ads showing recently bussed-in migrants, attacks on police officers, and warnings of invasion. Suozzi is also calling to drastically limit immigration, mirroring his party’s tactical shift to the right.


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