New York Democrat suspends campaign for Santos’s former seat, backs Suozzi

A Democratic candidate vying to run for former Rep. George Santos’s (R-N.Y.) seat ended her campaign Thursday after the New York Democratic Party chose former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) for a special election to be held in February.

Anna Kaplan, a former state senator, then endorsed Suozzi for the special election.

“We need to start 2024 off right, and that means electing Tom Suozzi to flip this seat and get Democrats closer to the majority,” she said in a statement.

The statement marks a swift change of tune for Kaplan, who previously said a Suozzi nomination for the seat would “endanger our chances for picking up this seat” and “do irreparable harm to National Democrats in 2024.”

Suozzi previously held the 3rd District seat before being defeated by Santos in 2022. Santos was expelled from Congress last week after corruption and fraud allegations. He faces 23 criminal charges for his alleged conduct.

“I will work day and night with both parties to deliver for the people, to make living here more affordable, safer and better. I delivered for this district before, and I will do it again by putting you ahead of partisanship. Let’s reject the nonsense and get back to work,” Suozzi said in a statement shared to X, formerly Twitter, shortly after news broke of his nomination.

The special election will be held Feb. 13. State Republicans have not announced a nominee for the seat to face Suozzi.

The race is expected to be tight, with the Cook Political Report labeling the seat a “toss-up” for both its special election and the 2024 election. Democrats are expected to focus significant resources on the race as they hope to regain losses in New York suffered in the 2022 midterms.

In her announcement, Kaplan pledged to stay involved in politics.

“This is certainly not the end for me. I look forward to continuing to fight for New Yorkers every single day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” she said.

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