Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican-backed candidate in the Feb. 13 special...

Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican-backed candidate in the Feb. 13 special election in the 3rd Congressional District, at a GOP meeting at the American Legion in Whitestone Jan. 17. Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost

Mazi Melesa Pilip, an enrolled Democrat who ran unsuccessfully in the 3rd Congressional District, has switched her party registration to Republican, officials said.

Pilip, 44, of Great Neck, had been registered as a Democrat when she ran in the Feb. 13 special election on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Democrat Tom Suozzi, who will be sworn in on Wednesday, defeated Pilip by 8 percentage points.

Pilip had been a registered Democrat for years when Republicans picked her to run for county legislature in 2021. She unseated a Democrat in Nassau's 10th District and was reelected in November. She caucuses with Republicans in the chamber and has been a reliable GOP vote. 

Republican officials had brushed off her party registration as a nonissue in the congressional race. Pilip later said she planned to switch parties after the election.

"It's official," she wrote in an Instagram post on Monday, with a clip from the song "Let's Do This," by Outskrts. "While I have always served as a member of the Majority in the County Legislature, I was registered in another party. I am proud to be part of and registered as a Republican."

In a statement, Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Cairo said the Democratic Party had "abandoned" Pilip and that she "embraces Republican values and ideals."

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months