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GOP picks Mazi Pilip to run in special election to replace former Rep. George Santos

GOP picks Mazi Pilip in special election to replace George Santos
GOP picks Mazi Pilip in special election to replace George Santos 00:33

NEW YORK -- Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip has been selected by Republicans to run in the special election to replace expelled former Rep. George Santos

Pilip is a registered Democrat, but was elected to the Nassau County Legislature on the Republican ballot line. 

Pilip, born in Ethiopia, migrated to Israel when she was 12. She served in the Israel Defense Forces before moving to the U.S.

CBS New York interviewed Pilip after Hamas attacked Israel in October. 

"The last three days, I'm just crying day and night. I can't sleep," Pilip said days after the attack. "Part of me would like to go and join the army." 

The congressional seat was vacated when the House voted to expel Santos on Dec. 1, days after a House Ethics Committee report found "substantial evidence" he repeatedly broke the law.  

Santos was scrutinized after winning the 2022 election when media outlets uncovered a series of lies he told about his background.

In May, the Justice Department announced 13 federal charges against him, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements to Congress.

Santos has pleaded not guilty to the charges.  

Pilip will face Democrat Tom Suozzi in the special election in New York's 3rd congressional district on Feb. 13, 2024. 

Suozzi previously represented the district and unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary against Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2022. 

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