CNN —  Democrat Tom Suozzi is heading back to Congress after defeating Republican Mazi Pilip in the special election to replace serial fabulist and expelled former GOP Rep. George Santos. The result will further narrow the GOP’s already thin House majority and hand President Joe Biden’s party a boost as the general election campaign comes into focus.

Suozzi’s success provides Biden and national Democrats with a much-needed narrative reshuffle – a bit of good news during a period when concerns over the president’s paltry poll numbers and intensifying worries over his age, or how it’s perceived by the electorate, has stoked anxieties about the likely coming rematch with former President Donald Trump. Yes, the district broke cleanly for Biden in 2020, but Democrats on Long Island had been losing there ever since – until Tuesday.

Both parties poured cash into the race for New York’s 3rd congressional district, but Democrats’ fundraising and registration advantage combined with Suozzi’s brand – he’s spent most of the last 30 years at or around the center of Long Island politics – and a fired-up base, angry over the Santos fiasco, delivered a victory that means the House GOP will now become even harder to corral.

For Pilip, who has vowed to run again in the fall, defeat meant an almost immediate rebuke from Trump, who called her a “very foolish woman” in a social media post Tuesday night. Pilip refused until the final days of the campaign to say whether she voted for Trump in 2020, though she did follow his lead in dissing a highly touted bipartisan Senate border bill – a decision that helped Suozzi tie her more tightly to the former president over the last week.

Continue reading