GOP PAC Doubles Efforts In NY Special Election

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Speaker Mike Johnson, is investing significantly in the special election to replace former Representative George Santos. This GOP group has decided to focus its efforts on an immigration-centric attack against the Democratic nominee, former Representative Tom Suozzi.

With just two weeks left before the February 13th special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, the Congressional Leadership Fund plans to spend $2.6 million on TV ads supporting Republican nominee Mazi Philip. This brings their total investment to nearly $5 million, aiming to counter the significant spending advantage Democrats had previously enjoyed.

A former Israeli Defense Forces soldier from Ethiopia, Mazi Philip, is running against Tom Suozzi in a race representing parts of Long Island and Queens. The issue of immigration has become a significant point of contention in this election, mainly due to the influx of over 160,000 migrants in New York City over the past year.

The Congressional Leadership Fund’s new ad campaign will continue to emphasize Suozzi’s alleged support for illegal immigrants. Their initial ad accused him of “rolling out the red carpet” for undocumented migrants, using audio of Suozzi boasting about “kicking ICE out of Nassau County.” This ad will be broadcast in the costly New York City media market, with a $2.2 million investment, while an additional $400,000 will be allotted for streaming services.

In response to these criticisms, the Democrats have launched a television advertisement where Suozzi confronts the allegations. He cautions voters about “encountering a great deal of unfounded claims holding Suozzi responsible for the migrant issue” and voices his backing for ICE.

Initially, national Republicans had been slow to invest in Philip’s campaign, giving Democrats an early advantage. However, Democrats have committed $9.6 million to the election, including $4 million from the House Majority PAC, $3.8 million from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and $1.6 million from the Suozzi campaign. Before this recent investment, Philip, the House GOP campaign arm, and the Congressional Leadership Fund had only amassed $3.6 million combined.

The stakes are high for both parties in this election. Democrats are eager to regain lost ground in New York after their losses in 2022, while Republicans aim to solidify their victories in the state. Additionally, Republicans seek to strengthen Speaker Mike Johnson’s House minority, making this the first special election of his speakership.