Democrats Hope the Road to House Control Starts in Long Island

Within hours of Tom Suozzi’s decisive victory in a House special election in New York last week, the optimistic pronouncements from Democrats began rolling in.

Gov. Kathy Hochul vowed that her party’s path to regaining control of the House of Representatives “flows through New York.” And the House minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn, took a shot at the “much-hyped Nassau County Republican machine.”

The outcome for Democrats was a welcome reversal of fortune on Long Island, where voters — wary of property taxes, inflation and a pandemic-era jump in crime — had recently embraced Republicans.

Until Mr. Suozzi’s victory in New York’s Third Congressional District, Republicans had held all four congressional seats on Long Island, and they crushed Democrats in a pivotal 2022 election, helping swing the House to Republican control.

It is far from clear if Mr. Suozzi’s defeat of the Republicans’ largely untested candidate, Mazi Pilip, was simply a product of its unique circumstances — a February special election to replace George Santos, a Republican whose never-ending cascade of lies led to his expulsion last year.

But Democrats contend that Mr. Suozzi’s successful approach — concentrating on the improving economy and adopting moderate stances on divisive issues like crime and immigration — portends bigger gains for the party in the fall.

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