In less than six weeks, we have the chance to reshape the narrative about the 2024 elections, bring Democrats one big step closer to taking back the House, and send Republicans into a panic—all by flipping the seat held until just last month by disgraced ex-Rep. George Santos.
Santos’ unprecedented expulsion gives us the opportunity to do all three on Feb. 13, when the special election for New York’s swingy 3rd Congressional District will take place. This is the kind of race that just begs for the Daily Kos community’s involvement, and after careful research, we’ve determined the best way we can make a major impact.
That’s why Daily Kos is proudly supporting Battleground New York, a grassroots effort backed by progressive groups and labor unions to engage in direct contact with the voters who will decide this contest. These experienced organizations will be knocking on tens of thousands of doors during this special election sprint to make sure we turn out every possible vote.
The stakes are as clear as they come—and as high as they get. Democrats have rallied around former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who previously represented this Long Island-based district for three terms as a mainstream member of the party. Republicans, by contrast, settled on Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip, a cipher who has resisted providing meaningful answers to questions about what she actually believes in.
When Pilip was first asked about her views on a national abortion ban—the kind supported by House Speaker Mike Johnson—a local GOP operative interrupted the interview so she wouldn’t have to respond. She’s ducked debates and even canceled one appearance. And she won’t even say whether she voted for Donald Trump.
But whatever her personal beliefs might be, Republicans would never have picked her if they weren’t sure she’d fall in line behind Johnson and his far-right ilk. The party’s margin in the House now is so miniscule, and GOP leaders won’t soon forget Kevin McCarthy’s ouster. Johnson and his cronies want someone who won’t rock any boats—and will allow them to flush Santos down the memory hole.
It’s up to us to make sure they can’t do that, and Battleground New York is the perfect vehicle for our mission. New York City’s media market is the most expensive in the nation, but instead of helping to pay for pricey TV ads, we can make sure that small-dollar donors get the best bang for their buck by supporting good old-fashioned face-to-face campaigning. And we can promise that our allies on the ground will go all-out to reach every voter they can.
Time is short, however, and Republicans are already rolling out their dark money machine. But as we’ve always preached at Daily Kos, the best response is people power. Grassroots donations will help Democrats counter the inevitable GOP lies and make the best possible case for why it’s time for new leadership.
And if we win this race, not only will Beltway pundits have to junk their pre-written stories about Democrats in disarray, we’ll be just four seats away from electing Hakeem Jeffries as speaker next year.