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Mazi Melesa Pilip

House leadership helps out in NY-3 — quietly

GLEN COVE, N.Y. — Speaker Mike Johnson and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries both parachuted into New York’s 3rd District in recent days. But neither did much to publicize it — a sign that both parties are wary of nationalizing the race.

When Johnson visited for a Mazi Pilip fundraiser Friday, it was behind closed doors. And when Jeffries appeared with former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) on Saturday to mark the start of early voting, the event was conspicuously absent from Suozzi’s public schedule.

While in the district, Jeffries slammed Pilip as “an extreme candidate” who “will go to Congress and partner with people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz.”

We asked Suozzi why his campaign didn’t play up the Jeffries visit more prominently.

“The race is Suozzi versus Mazi. That’s the race,” Suozzi responded. “The people in this district know me. They don’t know her.”

Even though Jeffries is a fellow New Yorker, it was an acknowledgment from Team Suozzi that the Brooklyn Democrat may not play as well among swing voters in Nassau County.

The dynamic is even more true for Johnson, a socially conservative Louisiana Republican whose views on abortion are out of step with many moderate suburbanites.

Cash dash: Although both leaders sought to stay out of the headlines, the two are playing a big behind-the-scenes role, shoveling cash into the race ahead of the Feb. 13 special election.

The NRCC and Pilip’s campaign are each putting another $200,000 into their latest hybrid campaign ad that hits Suozzi on Democratic border policies.

A total of $15.7 million has been spent or reserved on the airwaves so far. Democratic groups are leading the way with $9.7 million invested, while Republicans have put $6 million into the race, according to an AdImpact analysis.

Johnson has participated in several fundraisers for Pilip, and the CLF and NRCC are pumping in millions of dollars in TV ads.

And Jeffries has fundraised for Suozzi through direct appearances, the DCCC and House Majority PAC.

— Max Cohen

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.