Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional...

Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District special election, shown in October. Credit: Howard Simmons

Mazi Melesa Pilip, the Republican candidate in the 3rd Congressional District special election, cited border security, fighting bail reform and limiting high-density affordable housing as among her priorities, echoing issues that propelled the GOP on Long Island to key election victories in each of the last three years.

The Pilip campaign on Thursday released her “10 point plan,” weeks after her Democratic opponent, former Rep. Tom Suozzi, released his own plan and criticized Pilip, a second-term Nassau County legislator, for a lack of specificity about her stances on issues.

The election to fill the remainder of the 3rd District term of expelled Republican George Santos is Feb. 13.

Pilip’s plan emphasizes themes Republicans have used to attack national and New York State Democrats on issues such as immigration, crime and the economy. She said her plan focuses on issues meant to “fix the damage done by Joe Biden and Tom Suozzi's failed policies.”

Pilip said she would:

  • Work to repeal a portion of a 2017 law backed by former GOP President Donald Trump that capped the amount of state and local taxes filers can deduct from federal income taxes. Suozzi made restoring the SALT deduction a priority of his three terms in Congress, and repeated it in his 10-point plan released last month. The cap has survived numerous efforts by Suozzi and others to lift it, and experts are skeptical the cap will be addressed before it expires in 2025.
  • Oppose a national abortion ban or funding cuts for “reproductive rights and care.” Pilip, a registered Democrat, has not said if she also would oppose Democratic efforts to codify the national right to abortion that was lost when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision.
  • “Curb illegal immigration and the drug trade that comes with it, while simplifying the legal immigration process.” Pilip, 44, of Great Neck, is an Ethiopian Israeli immigrant who married her Ukrainian American husband in 2005 and became a citizen in 2009.

Pilip also stressed her opposition to Democratic state initiatives such as limits on crimes for which judges can set bail for defendants. She also signaled opposition to state efforts to prod municipalities into approving more affordable housing, vowing to “support local control of local communities.” The bail and housing issues have helped Republicans flip numerous local, state and federal offices in Nassau since 2021.

Suozzi, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2022 while also criticizing state bail reform, knocked Pilip's plan.

“She says she supports law enforcement. I support law enforcement. She says she supports the state of Israel. I support the state of Israel,” Suozzi said at an event in Sea Cliff on Thursday. “The difference is I give detailed policy prescriptions.”

With Tracy Tullis

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