What to Know About the Race to Replace George Santos

After nearly a year with George Santos as their local congressman, voters in New York finally have their chance to choose his replacement.

Early voting has already begun in the closely watched special House election, and the Feb. 13 contest is considered a tossup with unusually high stakes — for both the immediate balance of power in the House and November’s general elections.

It pits Mazi Pilip, a little-known Nassau County legislator running as a Republican, against Tom Suozzi, a former Democratic congressman.

Here’s what you need to know.

How we got here

Mr. Santos, a Republican, won New York’s Third Congressional District in November 2022 amid a wave of Republican success. But it was just weeks before his résumé began to unravel based on reporting by The New York Times and other news media outlets.

His remarkable array of lies included fabricated academic degrees, a nonexistent career on Wall Street and family fortune, and even a collegiate volleyball championship. Federal prosecutors soon added 23 criminal charges accusing him of campaign fraud, credit card fraud and other crimes.

Mr. Santos survived all of it until last December, when exasperated colleagues — armed with a damning bipartisan House Ethics Committee report — voted to make him only the sixth House member expelled from the body. Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York then called for a special election to fill his seat.

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