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Republicans select Mazi Melesa Pilip as candidate for 3rd Congressional District


Mazi Melesa Pilip, Nassau County Legislator for the 10th District, has been chosen by New York Republicans to run in the special election to replace George Santos. The Great Neck resident, who grew up in Ethiopia and Israel, was first elected to office as legislator in 2021, running on a campaign of public safety, supporting businesses post-pandemic and fighting antisemtism.

Pilip did not respond to a request to comment.

Pilip was born to Jewish parents in Ethiopia in the late 1979, where she lived until the age of 12, when her family immigrated to Israel. At 18 she joined the Israeli Defence Forces, where she served as a paratrooper. Pilip  later studied at the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University, and has been an outspoken supporter of closer Israeli-American relations, particularly since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas War.

"Oct. 7, last Saturday, our Shabbat, our holy Shabbat and the day that we will never, never ever forget," Pilip said at a rally in Eisenhower Park in support of Israel. "My message to Hamas is this; I promise you the Jewish people, the State of Israel, the American people will make you pay the price you deserve."

Pilip was the first Republican ever elected to the county legislature from Great Neck, where currently serves as the chairwoman of the Towns, Villages & Cities Committee and vice chairwoman of the Health & Social Services Committee.

Kim Devlin, senior advisor for Pilip's opponent in the race, Tom Suozzi, released a statement the day of the Republican announcement, calling on residents of the 3rd District to vote for a return to normalcy following Santos' tenure in office.

"People are sick and tired of the circus in Congress," the statement read. "Tom Suozzi has a proven record that he will work every day to try and bring common sense back to Washington by working across party lines like he's always done. "