In a campaign launch clip, Santos targeted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as he stated, "The politicians in Manhattan are destroying New York City and we don’t want those bad policies here in Long Island. We see the devastating effects and we want nothing to do with it."
Santos, who’s making his second straight bid for Congress, claimed that "failed leadership from the radicalized Democrats have turned New York City into a third-world hellhole, and we cannot let that happen in Long Island."
And denouncing Ocasio-Cortez, the two-term congresswoman from New York City and the most high-profile member of the collection of diverse and progressive House Democrats known as the "Squad," Santos stated she "thinks socialism is a good idea. She calls it democratic socialism, which is basically just socialism with glitter on it. Call it whatever you want – it’s anti-freedom, anti-American, and it sucks."
Santos, a first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Brazil, is running in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. The House district includes most of the North Shore of Long Island – from northwest Suffolk County, across northern Nassau County, and into the northeastern corner of the New York City borough of Queens.
The district was represented for two decades by former Republican Rep. Peter King. Though the Democrats have controlled the seat since acquiring it in the 2012 election, first by then-Rep. Steve Israel and now by Rep. Tom Suozzi, who was first elected in 2016.
Suozzi won his 2018 reelection by 18 points, yet his margin of victory sank to 12 points as he surpassed Santos last November. Suozzi is one of 47 House Democrats the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP reelection arm, is targeting in the 2022 cycle.
Republicans dominated the House for eight years before losing the majority in the chamber in the 2018 midterms amid a wave by House Democrats. Though Republicans lost the White House and their Senate majority in the 2020 contests, in the fight for the House, they defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats’ majority and only needed a net gain of five seats in 2022 to recover command of the chamber.