Suozzi-Mazi tally shows voter shifts as portion of G.N. goes ruby red, Dem captures independents, cracks GOP areas

Suozzi-Mazi tally shows voter shifts as portion of G.N. goes ruby red, Dem captures independents,  cracks GOP areas
Mazi Pilip concedes in the Feb. 13 special election for New York's Third Congressional District, where she won majorities in her hometown of Great Neck but lost overall to opponent Tom Suozzi. (Photo by Taylor Herzlich)

The once-Democratic bastion of Great Neck has solidified itself as a Republican bastion according to preliminary election data from New York’s 3rd Congressional District special election that shows a deepening GOP majority despite Democrat Tom Suozzi winning the overall vote.

Suozzi managed to handily defeat Republican County Legislator Mazi Pilip based on strong support from independents that helped him pick up election districts in traditional GOP strongholds in New Hyde Park and Manhasset. 

Suozzi stepped into Election Day with an edge in early voting, garnering 4,320 more votes than Pilip in Nassau County and 3,060 more in Queens in the fight to complete former Rep. George Santos’ term after being booted from his seat in December.

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Suozzi won 91,338 of the votes to Pilip’s 78,229 – nearly 54% to 46% – in a race with unexpectedly high turnout despite snow early Tuesday.

Nearly 85% of the vote came from the Nassau County portion of a district that stretches from Massapequa to the south, up across the North Shore and into eastern Queens.

While Suozzi won by a 23% margin in Queens, the race was closer between the two candidates in Nassau County.

According to the New York City Board of Elections’ unofficial Election Night results, Suozzi won with 61.38%, or 15,205 total votes in Queens. Pilip received 38.33%, or 9,495 total votes.

In Nassau County, Suozzi secured 52.46% of the votes, or 76,133 in total. Pilip garnered 47.37% of the votes, or 68,734 total votes, according to the Nassau County Board of Elections.

Overall, Suozzi secured his congressional win Tuesday night with 53.7% of the total votes vs. Pilip’s 45.99%, according to the New York State Board of Elections.

The breakdown of the congressional special election results by area was sourced by Newsday and is based on preliminary vote totals by precincts. Vote totals will be finalized once military and absentee ballots have been certified.

While Great Neck has been known as a Democratic stronghold for decades, the special election showed that the northern part of Great Neck has turned ruby red on the heels of Jennifer DeSena’s strong showing there in the Town of North Hempstead supervisor race in November.

Pilip won with more than 60% of the vote in Great Neck, where she lives and serves in the county Legislature.

In Kings Point, Pilip garnered 88% of the vote vs. Suozzi’s 12%, while 90% of Saddle Rock voted for the Republican candidate.

In November’s supervisor race, 86% of Kings Point voters elected Republican Jennifer DeSena. This increased by 2% in votes for Republican Pilip in the special election this month.

Southern portions of Great Neck – including Great Neck Plaza, Thomaston and Lake Success – held onto their historically blue presence with majorities voting for Suozzi.

The New Hyde Park and Williston areas, which have historically favored Republican candidates, also proved to be a win for Suozzi where he garnered a majority of the votes.

Pockets of districts in these two communities favored Pilip, but only two exceeded more than 70% of the total votes for the Republican, with most ranging from 50% to 62% of the votes.

In comparison to the race for North Hempstead town supervisor in November, many communities that favored the Republican candidate in the town race flipped when it came to the congressional special election.

This included areas like New Hyde Park, which averaged 56.7% of the votes for Republican Supervisor DeSena yet swung blue for Suozzi with only pockets of election districts holding onto their Republican majorities.

Nassau County and state Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs attributed part of his party’s poor showing in November to the “exceedingly low” turnout in an odd-year election.

“The lesson is this: It is incumbent upon us to see to it that we get a system where we can run elections like these that are important elections that have important races in even years when the voters are of a mindset to come out and vote,” Jacobs said at the Garden City Hotel at the time. “We need voters who are going to pay attention to the issues. We need voters who are going to feel engaged in an election.”

On Election Night for the special election, Jacobs thanked a slew of New York Democrats for the Democratic win, from the governor to House Minority Leader ​​Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn and the party volunteers.

“That’s what makes a night like this possible,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs told Newsday that even in Republican-majority voting districts, Suozzi received more votes than what was anticipated.

With more than 30,000 independent voters in the district, Jacobs told Newsday that Suozzi fared well in capturing the support of voters who comprise 21% of the district.

“This time the unaffiliated voters went with us,” Jacobs told Newsday.

Efforts to garner comment from the Nassau County Democratic Party were unavailing.

Other areas along the North Shore that produced more votes for Pilip included Manhasset, Old Westbury and East Hills, yet Pilip won by margins under 15 points.

In the southern part of the district, including Massapequa, Massapequa Park and North Massapequa, Pilip beat her opponent as expected in the Republican-dominated area.

Democratic areas overwhelmingly voted for Suozzi, like Port Washington where he garnered 73% of the votes.

While the Port Washington village of Manorhaven still holds a Democratic majority, its margins between Republicans and Democrats are smaller compared to the Port Washington communities of Baxter Estates, Port Washington North and Sands Point.

Manorhaven Mayor John Popeleski, a registered Republican, was one of the mayors who endorsed Suozzi early in the campaign.

Popeleski told Blank Slate his decision was motivated by his familiarity with Suozzi and confidence in his ability to work across party lines.

“He does work with everyone,” Popeleski said. “It’s not about being a Republican or a Democrat, it’s about what’s best for the people.”

While he endorsed Suozzi for this congressional campaign, he said Pilip, who has completed two years in the county Legislature could be a stronger candidate in the future once established more in politics.

“Maybe one day,” Popeleski said. “Not yet with her.”

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  1. One of the main reasons Pilip won such a strong majority in the north side of Great Neck is because the Orthodox Jewish community in that area uses the pulpit for campaigning. Pilip was a frequent guest at multiple synagogues in Great Neck, and the religious leaders in that community tell their congregants how to vote, following the mantra that Republicans are “good for Israel.”

    Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. It’s time that someone enforced that prohibition in Great Neck.

  2. Be careful what you wish for. Remember how many liberals are invited to give speeches at minority churches during political campaigns.


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