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Long Island pols push for Tom Suozzi to retake Santos’ seat

December 4, 2023

Publication: NY Post

By: Ryan King and Carl Campanile

CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A bipartisan group of Long Island mayors — six Republicans and five Democrats — formally endorsed Rep. Tom Suozzi’s bid to reclaim Lying George Santos’s old seat.

The truth-challenged pol was booted from Congress last Friday over financial malfeasance and a slew of ethics violations — and now a heated Republican primary contest is underway to replace him.

“Today’s endorsement makes it clear that this race is not about Democrat vs. Republican or Republican vs. Democrat,” Suozzi (D-NY) said in a statement Monday.

“These mayors understand that this race will be about who knows the district best and who will deliver results for the people in the 3rd Congressional District.”

Endorsements for Suozzi’s campaign unveiled Monday include: Farmingdale’s Ralph Ekstrand (R), Roslyn’s John Durkin (D), Lattingtown’s Bob Fagliola (R), Sea Cliff’s Elena Villafane (D), North Hills’ Marvin Natiss (R), Baxter Estates’ Nora Haagenson (D), Centre Island’s Larry Schmidlapp (R), Great Neck Estates’ Willam Warner (D), Cove Neck’s Tom Zoller (R), Roslyn Estates’ Paul Leone Peters (D), and Manorhaven’s John Popeleski (R).

Suozzi preceded Santos, 35, as the congressman for the 3rd District — a seat he held from 2017 to early 2023. The former congressman had actually defeated Santos in the 2020 election by over 12 percentage points.

Since then, redistricting upheaval altered the landscape in the Empire State, and Suozzi opted to vie for the Democratic nod to be governor. The Republican was easily defeated by incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) who took over after the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY).

This past October, Suozzi jumped into the fray for Santos’ seat as the truth-challenged politician faced mounting scandals.

“I could not be more pleased to have Tom Suozzi return to represent the North Shore of Long Island. His energy and positive approach to serving his constituents is unmatched.  Politics aside, Tom is an outstanding, honest, and caring individual,” Zoller, a Republican mayor, said of Suozzi.

Meanwhile, Santos decided to make an endorsement of his own — yet the recipient was not enthused.

“I know this is a hot take but I think the only person that can beat Suozzi since the Dems are misogynistic asses and won’t let Anna Kaplan be their nominee would be @MikeSapraicone!,” Santos wrote on X Sunday.

“He’s a former cop. A business leader,” Santos added. “I fully endorse and support Mike on taking over the seat that was robbed from me and the people of NY-3 without due process.”

Mike Sapraicone, the CEO of Squad Security, who is vying for the Republican nod to replace Santos, turned down the liar’s stamp of approval.

“I reject Santos’ endorsement,” he told The Post. “I said he was a crook and fraud and I still feel the same way. He’s trying to make himself relevant. He’s not relevant.”

“I don’t know who he’s trying to play with — the Republicans, the Democrats or the House of Representatives. We’re going to move forward. We’re preparing. I’m meeting with constituents and raising money as if I’m the Republican nominee.”

Even before Santos gave his endorsement, Sapraicone had admonished him, cheering his expulsion and ripping him as “a crook and fraudster.”

Sapraicone isn’t the only local Republican who wants nothing to do with Santos.

“George Santos has no place in the Nassau Republican Party, and he has zero credibility among our candidates,” Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo said.

“None of our candidates want his endorsement. In fact, I know that every prospective Republican candidate in Nassau will unequivocally reject the support of George Santos.”

The disgraced former Rep has opted not to vie for reelection. Santos became the first lawmaker expelled from Congress in nearly two decades and the sixth person overall.

That expulsion took place in a 311 to 114 vote with 105 Republicans on board. It came in the wake of a report from the House Committee on Ethics alleging that he “blatantly stole” campaign funds.

The report detailed his alleged use of political dollars for Botox, Only Fans, rent, and other jarring expenses.

Santos has cried foul over the process, claiming that he didn’t receive a fair shake.

He’s begun something of a revenge tour, filing ethics complaints against multiple sitting members of Congress, trying to muddy the waters.

The disgraced former congressman is also facing a 23-count indictment for alleged embezzlement, defrauding donors, and more.

Recently, HBO optioned the rights to a book to produce a movie detailing his short political career. The film will be executive produced by Frank Rich, the brain behind “Succession” and “Veep.”

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