Mazi Pilip points to her 'experience' in special election race against Tom Suozzi

Chanteé Lans Image
Thursday, February 8, 2024
'I'm a deliverer': Pilip points to experience for edge in special election race
Chantee Lans interviewed Pilips on her election campaign.

NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- There's just seven days until the special election to replace disgraced and expelled Congressman George Santos.

The two candidates running against each other are Democrat Tom Suozzi, who once held the seat, and Mazi Pilip, a Democrat running as a Republican.

Eyewitness News reporter Chantee Lans spoke to both candidates, starting with Pilip, who unlike Suozzi, has run a fairly quiet campaign.

Pilip, a registered Democrat, now representing the Nassau County Republican Party, hopes to bring home a win.

"If somebody would've asked me 30 years ago when I was in Ethiopia in the village where I was born, if someday I would run for Congress, I would think that person absolutely lost his mind," Pilip said.

Pilip, a mother of seven and wife of a Ukrainian immigrant, is an Ethiopian Jew.

Born in southern Ethiopia, she immigrated to Israel, joining their military, the IDF, before moving to the United States.

A lesser-known candidate with just two years as a Nassau County legislator, Pilip is now thrusted into the national spotlight to widen a razor thin GOP majority.

She has lodged fiery ads at her Democratic opponent Suozzi over the controversial migrant crisis.

"I'm telling you from firsthand, from an immigrant, from country to country, I did it twice," Pilip said.

Chantee Lans pressed Pilip to explain her plan to address the migrant crisis.

"As a county legislator, I'm so proud in the two years, my accomplishment, my record showing you the experience," Pilip said. "I'm not a talker, I'm a deliverer."

Pilip never explained her plan. Suozzi's campaign has fired back.

Chantee Lans asked Pilip about Donald Trump's 91 criminal charges, and her take on his legal battles.

"He's still going through the process," she said. "I want -- I hope and believe that he's going to get a fair trial."

On Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul took aim at Pilip on MSNBC.

"We don't even know a thing about her," Hochul said. "This is George Santos all over again."

"It's a very shame that you feel this way," Pilip said in response to Hochul. "Of course, I'm not surprised. Of course, you're going to support Tom Suozzi because he's going to support her progressive agenda."

Democrats have outspent the GOP by nearly $4 million on campaign ads.

Pilip, a resident of Great Neck, is now leaning on the Jewish community on Long Island, which is one of the largest in the world, for votes.

Chantee Lans speaks to candidates Mazi Pilip and Tom Suozzi, while Hofstra University's Prof. Larry Levy breaks down the heated race.


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