by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The new year will begin with a slate of special elections that could shift the balance of power in the House — even ahead of the 2024 November elections.
Several incumbents have announced their early retirements from the House, opening up a handful of seats that must be filled just as the 2024 cycle gets underway. The House must fill four seats come early next year, including three being vacated by retiring members and the one former New York Rep. George Santos occupied before lawmakers voted to expel him. …
… One of the most high-profile special elections coming up next year will be the one to replace Santos, a Republican, who was ousted from the House in early December, making him only the sixth member of Congress ever to be removed.
The race is expected to draw a lot of attention as Democrats aim to flip the seat and narrow the GOP’s already-slim majority. Both parties and their respective candidate committees are already looking at the race and how it will play a role in possibly shifting the balance of power for the remainder of this Congress.
Democrats and Republicans have already chosen their desired nominees, with the special election scheduled for Feb. 13, 2024. Democrats tapped former Rep. Tom Suozzi to run for his old seat while Republicans chose state legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, who is seen as a rising star in the party after she was elected in 2021 on a platform largely focused on battling antisemitism and supporting Israel.
Whoever wins will carry out the rest of Santos’s term and will be put in a good position to be reelected later in the year. …
… The House has a second empty seat effective Sunday when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will resign from Congress. Once that day passes, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) will have two weeks to schedule a date for the special election to replace him.