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The Republican candidate vying to fill ousted Rep. George Santos’s House seat is firing back following attacks from her Democratic opponent ahead of Tuesday’s special election.
GOP hopeful Mazi Pilip, a former IDF soldier, and former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi are locked in a close race with potential national implications as Republicans look to hold on to a key suburban New York City district amid a trend of Democratic gains.
The pair have traded jabs over key issues ranging from immigration to abortion on the campaign trail, with Suozzi most recently calling Pilip “George Santos 2.0” and accusing her of being “unvetted” and “untruthful” about her record.
“The bottom line is that my opponent, Mazi Pilip, is George Santos 2.0, utterly unvetted, lying about her record, covering up her extreme positions, being untruthful about her finances, and thumbing her nose at democracy by hiding in the basement and spewing this tired old same talking points and resorting to extremist my-way-or-the-highway type of politics that will mean nothing gets done,” Suozzi said at a campaign event on Sunday.
Pilip responded to the accusations during “America’s Newsroom” on Monday, calling her opponent’s rhetoric “disrespectful.”
“It’s very disrespectful. He’s trying to run away from his record,” Pilip told Dana Perino. “Run away [from] the fact that he opened the southern border, the fact that he was supporting defunding the police movement, the fact is this was increasing taxes as a county executive and in Congress supporting Biden 100% of the time, supporting the Squad 90% of the time.”
“So he trying to run away and picturing me as a person unvetted. I am very much vetted. I’m very proud of who I am, the things I said I did, as was proven. Newsday’s, New York Post, they all came to see my degrees, they all come to see my military service. So he’s trying to link me to something to distract people so – to vote. Shame on him,” she continued.
According to a Newsday/Siena College poll released last week, data showed Suozzi with a 4-point lead over Pilip, within the poll’s margin of error.
Data also indicated 49% of voters trusted Pilip to handle the influx of migrants, in comparison to only 40% in favor of Suozzi. On the other hand, 55% of voters trusted Souzzi to tackle abortion policy in comparison to 32% who preferred Pilip.
Regardless, Pilip insisted it is the migrant crisis that Long Island voters are most worried about as they head to the polls.
Democrat Tom Suozzi and Republican Mazi Pilip met face to face in the first and only debate, which aired Thursday night, in the special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District. (Getty Images)
“The migrant crisis… it’s a big issue for the third congressional district. Unvetted migrants coming to our country, and the person responsible is Tom Suozzi, my opponent. He was in a majority in Congress when he decided to open the southern border, and he was also was funding sanctuary cities,” Pilip said.
“The issues we are seeing right now, the border crisis, unvetted migrants coming here, attacking our police officers on the streets. This is exactly the formula. When you are weak on crime, when you don’t support law enforcement, and then you have wide open borders, you are bringing unvetted immigrants. This is a formula that we are seeing, a perfect formula for all these issues that we are seeing that Thomas was responsible,” she continued.
Meanwhile, a winter storm is brewing in the Northeast and could hit hard right before voters head to the polls, threatening up to a foot of snow in the region.
Fox News’ Michael Lee and Kyle Morris contributed to this report.