By Laura Schmitt
Mark your calendar for February 13, the date of the special election to fill the 3rd congressional district seat vacated by George Santos. The GOP has chosen Mazi Pilip, the current Nassau County District 10 legislator, to run on the Republican line. This election has national consequences as the razor thin GOP majority lies in peril. Millions of dollars are pouring in from national sources to sway your vote.
Mazi has proven to be a tough campaigner. She gave birth to her sixth and seventh children, twin daughters, weeks after winning her first election to become Nassau County District 10 Legislator in 2021. She handily won that election by a margin of 7 points! In 2023, she easily won re-election.
After the embarrassment of Santos’s fake resume, the GOP is taking nothing for granted with Mazi Pilip. They vetted her with three independent investigation teams. She came through as the real deal. Mazi is a two-time refugee, an Ethiopian Israeli Orthodox Jew, who served 2 years as an IDF paratrooper. She has a degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Haifa, and another in Diplomacy and Security from Tel Aviv University. While attending school, she met her Ukrainian American husband who is now a cardiologist practicing in Smithtown. He is a grandson of Holocaust survivors.
Mazi has a weighty resume of community service. She was president of her synagogue Kol Yisrael Achim in Great Neck where she and her family live. As expected, she publicly denounces antisemitism and has been a reliable supporter of Israel.
As chair of The Towns, Villages, and Cities Committee and vice chair of Health and Social Services, Mazi’s legislative record was focused on local issues enriching her community. Promoting food drives, Narcan training, mammography and prostate screenings fell under her scope. She worked to revitalize small businesses. She successfully legislated for the replacement of dangerous cesspools which threatened the health and safety of the community. She lowered the time requirements for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to qualify for partial property tax exemptions. She holds strong against tax increases. She supports the police.
On national issues, Mazi accuses Biden and his policies for Putin’s attack on Ukraine, and Hama’s attack on Israel. With ties to Ukraine and Israel, her support for democracies is strong. She blames Biden for the influx of migrants coming across our borders and our skyrocketing inflation.
What do we know of her stance on abortion? Although she has not yet clearly stated her abortion stance openly while campaigning, her actions and associations speak loudly. Mazi worked vigorously to get George Santos elected, unaware yet of his CV deception, but knowing full well that Santos was staunchly pro-life. Conservative Ronald Lauder has been a major donor to her campaigns. Also pertinent, she is the mother of seven and former president of an Orthodox synagogue. On the other hand, Democrat contender Tom Suozzi, previously bashed by Hochul for his corruption, now bends the knee in promising his iron clad support for no-limits abortion.
It would not be surprising to see someone running and winning on both the Conservative and Republican lines, as Mazi Pilip does. What is surprising, is that Mazi is a registered Democrat! Don’t be misdirected. She has held her current office as a Republican for three years. Nassau County Republican Chairman Joe Cairo vows that Mazi Pilip is “philosophically in sync with the Republican team.” Ultimately, the best reason she gets my Republican vote is that the Democrat community has vilified her as a “MAGA extremist!”