Republicans have embraced immigration as their central issue, hoping to capitalize on suburban voter unease about the wave of migrants arriving in cities like New York. Pilip, who was born in Ethiopia before immigrating to Israel and then the United States, has campaigned in front of migrant shelters in Queens, accusing her opponent and President Biden of bringing “the border crisis to our front door.” Republicans have spent millions blanketing the airwaves with ads casting Suozzi as an “open-border radical.”
Suozzi, for his part, has refused to cede the issue, making a tougher stance on immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. He has called on Biden to lock down the border, and said a group of migrant men charged with assaulting police officers should be deported. He also criticized Pilip for opposing a bipartisan Senate border bill.
If Suozzi’s strategy succeeds, his approach could become a new immigration playbook for other Democrats running in swing suburban districts.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Democrats have leaned into abortion rights as an energizing force for their coalition. The $13 million they’ve spent on advertising in the race — twice as much as Republicans — has characterized Pilip as an ardent opponent of abortion rights.
Pilip, an Orthodox Jew and the mother of seven children, describes herself as “pro-life.” In the first and only debate of the race last Thursday, she said she would not support a national abortion ban. But she declined to say what abortion restrictions she would support, and attacked Suozzi for pressing her on specifics, accusing him of telling a woman what she believes.