George Santos was expelled from Congress last Friday. | Francis Chung/POLITICO

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday scheduled the special election in New York to replace former Rep. George Santos for Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Santos was expelled from Congress last Friday.

Party leaders in Nassau County and Queens will pick the nominees without a primary. The race will be treated as a major bellwether in a traditional battleground corner of New York that Santos won with 54 percent of the vote in 2022.

Democrats are expected to pick former Rep. Tom Suozzi, who held the seat before retiring to run for governor in 2022. Several other contenders such as former state Sen. Anna Kaplan have spent recent days making the case that he’s not strong enough on issues like abortion.

Hochul agreed to not work against former opponent Suozzi’s bid after a secret meeting in Albany on Monday in which he apologized for his campaign attacks last year.

Republicans have been in the process of screening dozens of potential contenders and expect to announce their nominee soon.

Democrats struggled throughout Long Island in that year’s elections — a trend that continued in local contests last month. But Suozzi has a record of outperforming his party, and Democrats remain optimistic the seat is winnable.

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