Democrat candidate Tom Suozzi says those same police unions endorsed George Santos
LONG ISLAND, N.Y.—While Mazi Pilip, the Republican candidate for New York’s Third Congressional District (CD-3), announced at a press conference that she received the endorsement of 12 city and county police unions, her opponent, Democrat Tom Suozzi, derided them all.
The Feb. 13 special election called to replace the disgraced former CD-3 Rep. George Santos is just three days away. CD-3 spans Nassau County and a part of Eastern Queens
“Those same police unions endorsed George Santos and I don’t think we should use that as an arbiter for this election,” Mr. Suozzi told The Epoch Times.
Congress expelled Mr. Santos (R-NY) on Dec. 1, 2023.
At the press conference, which took place Friday at the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) office in Mineola, Ms. Pilip was flanked by representatives from the Nassau County PBA, the Nassau County Police Department Detectives Association (DAI), the Nassau County Superior Officers Association (SOA) and Corrections Officers Benevolent Association (COBA), the Suffolk County PBA, the New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), the Lieutenants Benevolent Association (LBA), NYPD Lieutenants, the MTA PBA, Port Authority Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), Freeport PBA, and the Lynbrook PBA.
For a first time Congressional candidate to receive endorsements from so many police unions is stunning, according to former Congressman Pete King (R-NY).
“I was endorsed this way near the end but not from the start,” Mr. King told The Epoch Times.”It’s only the norm if you’re a winning candidate especially when you’re running against someone who was a county executive twice and congressman three times. The fact that they are rejecting him and going to Mazi is a big deal.”
The New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) represents 13,000 NYPD active and families of active members and retired members of the NYPD.
NYPD-SBA President Vincent Vallelong said the days of career politicians out for their own agenda should be over.
“Siding with different politicians to get certain bills through for monies that have nothing to do with our families, those days really need to be over with law enforcement as a group,” he said.
Although Suffolk County is adjacent to CD-3 but not within its boundaries, Suffolk County PBA President Louis Civello felt it was important to participate in the press conference and support Ms. Pilip for Congress.
“We are in the middle of a national crisis when it comes to policing,” Mr. Civello told The Epoch Times. “We can’t get people to take these jobs anymore.”
Ricky Frassetti, president of the Superior Office Association (SOA) of Nassau County, is grateful to Ms. Pilip because, in his experience, she has stood by her word.
“She increased the SOA numbers personally,” Mr. Frassetti told The Epoch Times. “She included an addendum to the legislator budget and increased our numbers to exactly where we want us to be.”
Earlier in the day, before her afternoon press conference with the police unions, Ms. Pilip cast her ballot at an early voting location inside the Robert E. Picken Town Hall South building in Oyster Bay.
Politico reported Monday that more Democrats than Republicans had cast ballots in the first three days of Nassau County’s early voting.
“Of course, I voted for Mazi, but you know what’s amazing? It just took me back 30 years … that I am little Mazi from a village in Ethiopia running for Congress and voting for myself,“ Ms. Pilip said. ”This is the American dream. It was very, very emotional, very special, and just God bless America.”
At his press conference, Mr. Suozzi, who cast his early ballot at Glen Cove City Hall on Feb. 9, discussed how the weather might impact election day.
Currently, snow and rain is expected on Tuesday.
“Good weather is better for me because I want a high turnout,” Mr. Suozzi told journalists. “I want more people voting. The more people to vote, the better for my race. The more people that watch the debate, the better for my race. The more people that know what’s actually going on in this race, the better for my race.”
A Newsday/Siena College poll determined that 48 percent of voters support Mr. Suozzi compared to 44 percent for Ms. Pilip. Seven percent were undecided.
The Robert E. Picken Town Hall parking lot was overflowing in the morning with cars driving in and out.
Early voters who cast their ballot in favor of Ms. Pilip were eager to share why as they left the building.
Barry Single, 74, a retired federal agent said he likes what Ms. Pilip stands for and that he perceives her as an honest person.
“The gentleman who was in there before did a terrible job,” Mr. Single told The Epoch Times. “I see veterans being neglected who deserve everything this country could possibly give them. Then, I see somebody who illegally crossed the border being handed the whole house. I don’t like it.”
Karen Lemish, 61, who works part-time in admissions at Nassau Community College, said she voted Republican because she thinks Ms. Pilip is a better choice.
“The Democrats are not the party of years ago,” Ms. Lemish told The Epoch Times. “I was a Democrat many years ago. Now I really am keeping up to date with what’s going on with the world. I hope the American people realize what the Democrats are trying to do. They want to destroy America. That’s my opinion.”
Massapequa resident Jane Belmonte, 69, said she voted for Ms. Pilip because she doesn’t want illegal immigrants in the town.
“I don’t want him because we’re not a sanctuary area,” Ms. Belmonte told The Epoch Times. “We pay a lot of money in taxes here. Too much money. It’s wonderful … all these people came out today. I had to park all the way in the back but I don’t mind walking.”