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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Special election held for New York’s 3rd Congressional District

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Monday, February 12, 2024   

Tomorrow is the special election in New York's 3rd Congressional District to replace George Santos.

The candidates are Democrat Thomas Suozzi, a former 3rd District representative who left office in 2022 to run for governor, and Republican Mazi Pilip, a freshman Nassau County legislator. District residents are eager to have new representation, but the memory of Santos makes some wary about the choices.

Anthony Zrake, an attorney and longtime 3rd District constituent whose representation recently changed due to redistricting, feels the bar has been lowered for what a member of Congress should be, but said they should still meet certain specifications.

"I want someone who is competent to do the job and serious about the job, and Suozzi certainly fits the bill on both of those," Zrake contended. "I want someone who is going to be able to work across the aisle. I don't need, you know, a Jim Jordan, screaming and getting nothing done." He referred to the colorful Republican House member from Ohio.

Contender Mazi Pilip has a challenging task, since there is a feeling Santos damaged Republicans' credibility, but Pilip herself has confounded voters with her mixed messaging. She is a registered Democrat running as a Republican, and has not provided clear answers on certain issues. Polls show it's a close race, with a four-point gap between her and Suozzi.

Kimberly Keiserman, who led Concerned Citizens of NY03, a group of residents who worked to have Santos expelled, is grateful the expulsion is part of the district's past. But she feels slighted by Nassau County and some congressional Republicans who supported Santos, despite a report showing they were aware of his credibility problems.

"They never really explained themselves, why they did that," Keiserman pointed out. "Why they didn't act more assertively to help citizens, like us from Concerned Citizens of New York 03, who were trying to get him expelled from office? They never really explained that."

The 3rd District is one of four open seats in the U.S. House. Given the narrow majority Republicans hold, whoever wins these seats could tip the scales of power in the chamber.

Disclosure: Stand Up America contributes to our fund for reporting on Campaign Finance Reform/Money in Pol, Civic Engagement, Civil Rights. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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