Reading the CD3 website tea leaves
Is Republican Mazi Melesa Pilip entering the CD3 scrum?
As Rep. George Santos learns his fate in Congress in the next 48 hours, the pool of candidates to replace him might be getting wider. While Pilip, a Nassau County legislator who just won re-election in a crushing vote, hasn’t announced a run for Congress, the domain name maziforcongress.com was purchased this week. Currently, there’s nothing on the site — other than the site name and a note, saying: “We’re under construction. Please check back for an update soon.”
Pilip did not return requests for comment but it’s not a secret in GOP circles that she is pushing hard to be the candidate in a special election.
During her endorsement interview with the editorial board, Pilip said others were “creating stories” about her potential candidacy, adding that she was “fully engaged as a county legislator.”
“At this point I don’t even think about that,” Pilip said earlier this fall. “If down the line, the community will come, they will ask me, I will consider it. But nobody mentioned it to me, nobody asked me. I’m the county legislator and I’m excited for another term.”
The web domain purchase made The Point curious as to whether any other potential Republican candidates also have websites in the works. Another oft-mentioned potential GOP candidate is State Sen. Jack Martins. But martinsforcongress.com and jackmartinsforcongress.com take searchers to an old, familiar spot: a New York Times editorial from 2017 called “Willie Horton, Updated for the Trump Era” that addresses Martins’ controversial mailer used against Laura Curran in the 2017 battle for Nassau County executive.
Familiar, because this has been done before. When Martins ran against then-incumbent Anna Kaplan for the State Senate seat in 2022, two websites — martins4senate.com and jackmartinsforsenate.com — linked to the same editorial.
The owner of the domain names isn’t public so it’s unclear who’s behind it. Kaplan spokesman Chase Goodwin told The Point that neither the Kaplan campaign nor the Kaplan family owns the sites. Martins did not return calls for comment.
But, Goodwin confirmed, Kaplan remains in the race, even as talk around a potential special election has centered around Tom Suozzi as the chosen Democrat.
Suozzi’s website, suozziforcongress.com, has been around for a while, as it was first created in January 2016 — the year he first won his congressional seat. Suozzi’s site, however, still says “Congress * 2020” — featuring his last congressional campaign, when he beat Santos.
— Randi F. Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org
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A veteran Brooklyn pol’s Five Towns presence
Dov Hikind, who represented Brooklyn’s 48th Assembly District for 36 years, lives these days in Woodmere — and expresses no regrets. “It’s beautiful here,” he tells The Point of his adopted Five Towns neighborhood, citing its greater amount of open space, breathability and even parking.
He expresses pride in the congregation to which he belongs, Yismach Moshe on Broadway in Woodmere, and its rabbi, Heshy Blumstein. Hikind’s brother Pinchas, a longtime staffer at the New York City comptroller’s office, has also moved to the area.
At 73, Dov Hikind remains an influential political name within orthodox Jewish communities, and his endorsement at election time is still sought out. In the Assembly’s Democratic majority before his retirement in 2018, Hikind was regarded as the chamber’s most militant religiously Jewish member. For decades, though, he backed Republicans such as Sen. Al D’Amato and Gov. George Pataki. Now he’s registered in the GOP.
These days, the war in Israel and its shock waves in the U.S. have potential impact on Long Island politics, raising the prospect that GOP Nassau County Legis. Mazi Melesa Pilip, a politically conservative Israeli Defense Forces veteran, might run for Congress in the 3rd district. Hikind says people ask him whether he’d run for Congress. He neither rules it out nor commits himself. If he did, he says, he’d also be interested in CD3. Though he does not live in that district, he wouldn’t need to move there immediately. At this point, Mike Deery, spokesman for Nassau County Republican Chairman Joe Cairo, says that for any credible candidate who reaches out, Cairo “would listen to what that person would have to say.” Such a conversation with Hikind doesn’t seem to have taken place.
Meanwhile, Hikind is keeping his share of the limelight. Last month, for example, he visited southern Israel and described in detail to WABC radio host Sid Rosenberg some of the lingering horrors of the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre. He also founded the group Americans Against Anti-Semitism to protest and address a spate of hate crimes that preceded the latest Mideast eruption.
— Dan Janison email@example.com