Pilip, a 44-year-old mother of seven born in Ethiopia who served in the Israel Defense Forces, is being touted as a potential rising star on the national political stage, despite her limited political experience.
Former Long Island representative and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Peter King has also endorsed Pilip, describing her as an “American success story” with “superstar capacity.”
However, Pilip’s candidacy comes with some challenges. Having entered politics just two years ago, she lacks experience in fundraising and has yet to establish connections with the national Republican Party. Additionally, she has not taken a clear stance on key issues such as abortion rights, gun laws, and the ongoing legal challenges faced by former President Donald Trump.
Pilip’s nomination is particularly bold given that Democrats already have a strong chance of reclaiming the House seat. George Santos was one of 18 Republicans representing districts that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
The upcoming special election, scheduled for February 13, will see Pilip facing off against the Democrats’ candidate, former Representative Tom Suozzi.
It remains to be seen how Pilip’s unconventional candidacy will resonate with voters in the Queens-Nassau County district, especially in the aftermath of Santos’ expulsion amid revelations of fabrications about his background and lineage.