Republicans have picked former Assemb. Michael LiPetri to challenge Rep. Tom...

Republicans have picked former Assemb. Michael LiPetri to challenge Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in the 3rd Congressional District. Credit: James Escher

Nassau Republicans have chosen Michael LiPetri, a former state assemblyman, to challenge Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in the November general election in the 3rd Congressional District, party officials said Monday.

The party nominated LiPetri, 33, of Farmingdale, because he is a “proven vote-getter,” Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Cairo told Newsday. The party is bracing for a June 25 primary involving at least two other Republicans who are seeking the nomination for the seat.

In a special election last month, Suozzi defeated Republican-backed Mazi Melesa Pilip to serve the rest of the term of former GOP Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from the House Dec. 1. Suozzi is seeking reelection to a full two-year term.

LiPetri served one term in the Assembly, from 2019 until 2021. He ran unsuccessfully in a primary in the 2nd Congressional District in 2020, losing to Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport).

“Mike is a proven vote-getter as an assemblyman, and he's a hard worker, and he's full of energy and we believe he's the right person to take the task on now,” Cairo said. 

Under new congressional maps approved last month by the State Legislature, the 3rd District moves north and east, losing Republican-rich Massapequa and gaining parts of Suffolk County including Huntington, Huntington Station, Cold Spring Harbor and Lloyd Harbor. The map will be in effect for the Nov. 5 election. 

“This race is all about giving people someone to vote for, not just vote against,” LiPetri said in an interview. “I'm focused on generating solutions” and on “issues that restore common sense.”

He said he doesn't support a national abortion ban, but would not back codification of Roe v. Wade into federal law. He said he plans to vote for former Republican President Donald Trump in November.

The party selected LiPetri from among 20 candidates. Pilip declined to run again, Cairo said.

Challenging LiPetri in the GOP primary are Greg Hach, a personal injury lawyer and U.S. Air Force veteran from Oyster Bay, and Jim Toes, of Manhasset, who leads a financial services trade group. Hach had nearly $132,000 in cash on hand as of Dec. 31, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, while Toes had nearly $78,000.

“That'll be sad because it'll take time and effort away from our candidate, from the party candidate, but so be it,” Cairo said. 

LiPetri is a managing director at Park Strategies LLC, a lobbying firm that former Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, of Island Park, founded. He is a graduate of SUNY Albany and Albany Law School, university officials confirmed.

Hach on Monday criticized LiPetri as too closely tied to Santos. Hach referred to a New York Times story in July that said LiPetri had partnered with Santos in a business deal that ultimately fell through.

LiPetri told the Times he played a small part in the venture.

Cairo said he had no concerns about the Times report. 

“There was an introduction made. There was no financial interest. I'm not concerned at all,” he said.

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