Mazi Pilip, the Darling Candidate of Ronna McDaniel, is a Registered Democrat who Refuses to Say Who She Voted For in 2020
Serious questions about Pilip’s background remain, including her party registration, support for President Trump, and even her citizenship status.
Call it revenge of the RINOs.
It is no secret that New York State has become a nerve center in the 2020s for House races, in large part owing to the congressional seats that Republicans picked up in 2020 and 2022, especially in downstate New York, an area that includes former Congressman George Santos’ district, NY-03, in parts of Nassau County and Queens. Republicans significantly owe their razor-thin majority to the four Republicans elected on Long Island, a lead that has since been reduced to three, with Santos’ controversial ouster late last year.
But if the Party is attempting to protect its majority, it has picked the worst possible candidate to run for Santos’ vacated seat.
Mazi Melesa Pilip, a current Nassau County legislature, was handpicked by Joe Cairo, Nassau County’s anti-Trump GOP Chairman, to fill the seat vacated by Santos. There are serious questions about Pilip’s background, who previously served in the Israeli Defense Force, before emigrating to the United States and presumably becoming a naturalized citizen.
For one, she is not a Republican, but a registered Democrat. She was – and, based on all the available information, still is — enrolled as a Democrat. Pilip has retained this party affiliation since at least 2012, according to Politico.
The problems, however, go much deeper. First, very basic details about Mazi’s background remain unknown to the public. For starters, not even her date of birth has been disclosed. Indeed, Wikipedia cannot even identify Pilip’s birth year, merely giving the range “1978 or 1979,” and then citing an article from Newsday that simply notes her age as “42.”
Because her exact date of birth cannot be pinned down, it is impossible to do a comprehensive background search into Pilip’s voting history – likely by design. When asked who she voted for in 2020, Pilip skirted the question completely.
Typically, one can easily figure out a candidate’s voter registration status through a simple search on the NY State Board of Elections website. But, without a date of birth, it becomes impossible to do a basic background check.
If Pilip — a migrant from Israel? Africa? somewhere else? — is too uncomfortable to reveal even the year she was born to her constituents, how on earth can we know that she is an American citizen, which is a constitutional requirement under Article I to serve in Congress? The burden of proof is squarely on her – it is difficult to find another congressional candidate whose birth year, let alone birth date, is unknown. The patent lack of transparency raises all sorts of doubts about her background, not just her party affiliation and voting record, but citizenship status and overall loyalties to the United States. How can a candidate pledge to faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and satisfy her oath when she may not even be a citizen?
Arguably even more troubling, however, are her public statements on President Trump. Pilip has been adamant that she would not back Trump if he is convicted of a crime by one of the kangaroo courts prosecuting his cases – repeatedly stating “nobody is above the law.”
This is mind-boggling, knowing how badly the courts are rigged against President Trump, with rogue, vindictive judges like Engoron and Kaplan, encouraged by a far left District Attorney and Attorney General, flouting tried and true rules of evidence while making mincemeat of due process to orchestrate a blatant political prosecution against the 45th President. Even most Democrats, when polled, agree that the justice system has been weaponized against the Biden regime’s political enemies.
The fact that Pilip appears to think the hatchet job currently playing out in the courts is somehow “normal” and that she would refuse to support President Trump if he was convicted of a felony is the absolute telltale (not that more evidence is needed) that she is a Democrat plant and should be replaced with someone truly loyal to MAGA, or go down in flames.
The best explanation for Pilip’s rank failure to call out the miscarriage of justice in the New York State Court System for what it is, demonstrates ignorance in American law and the principles of due process, including the fundamental purpose the Constitution serves to protect the rights of American citizens, including the presumption of innocence.
Interview after interview, Pilip manifestly fails to grasp the most basic ideas of American law and how the justice system is supposed to work. Her gross ignorance would be easily explained if she actually turned out to not be a US citizen. If not that, the more nefarious explanation for her ignorance would be that Pilip is operating as a pawn or plant for the DC establishment that otherwise seeks to derail MAGA and sabotage President Trump once and for all.
As if things could not get any worse, in addition to being a registered Democrat who does not perceive anything wrong with the weaponization of the justice system against Donald Trump, Pilip is married to a Ukrainian national.
She thus makes the ideal candidate for neoconservatives who want to wage endless wars in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and with China – and who would spend unlimited amounts of money on the Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan. Or on the hundreds of thousands of illegals pouring over our wide-open southern border each and every month as our own citizens get poorer and poorer, if they do not already die from Fentanyl-induced overdoses or are murdered by violent criminals in major cities from coast to coast.
Joe Cairo, the Nassau County Chairman, has been very clear about his disdain for President Trump and his desire to turn back the clock to the “good ol’ days” of Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush. In this capacity, Cairo is in lockstep with New York’s corrupt Republican Party, led by State Committee Chairman, Edward F. Cox. He is the face of Republican corruption.
Despite the bustling pro-Trump sentiments of their constituents, particularly on Long Island, which is loud and proud in its support for the 45th President, Republican elected officials statewide, with few exceptions, remain in thrall to the increasingly irrelevant “Never Trump” faction. Case in point: despite the pro-Trump sentiments of their voters, NY House Republicans like Andrew Garbarino, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, and Anthony D’Esposito, who represent some of the most Trump-leaning parts of the state, have not yet endorsed the 45th President. Others, like Nick Lalota, who occupies the congressional seat formerly held by Lee Zeldin, and Nick Langworthy, only endorsed President Trump last month.
What explains the holdout, especially at this extremely late stage — with President Trump’s de facto status as presumptive nominee?
The holdout is indicative of the state party’s lingering anti-Trump sentiment. And it is not as if NY State Republicans can use the excuse that they were simply waiting out to get all their ducks in order: Elise Stefanik endorsed Trump all the way back in November of 2022. To the extent Cairo has spoken about Trump at all publicly, his statements have left much to be desired: “So Trump will do just fine,” Cairo snarled in a recent interview with Newsmax, when asked how the 45th President will perform in his country.
The dismissive remark indicates the priorities for Cox, Cairo, and the rest of the group, are clearly not to support Trump — which, in reality, would benefit everyone since their constituents are so aligned with MAGA — and equip the likely 47th President with the highest quality candidates in the House, making his life easier, once he returns to office.
Instead, rather than tap into New York’s vast reservoir of unregistered voters, who would otherwise vote for President Trump, New York State Republican Party leaders are instead committed to their losing ways: selecting the worst of the worst in candidates like Mazi Pilip for Congress so that they can try to subvert President Trump and the movement he embodies.
This is sad given the general trajectory of New York, which has moved rightward in recent elections, ever since President Trump swept the GOP by storm. The trends continued statewide, even in 2022, a relative down year for the national party, which observed New York buck national trends and vote for Republicans in both federal and local offices in a midterm that was generally more favorable to Democrats.
Cairo was the one who let George Santos slip through the cracks. Now he tries to moralize about returning the party to the pre-Trump days.
Funny enough, Santos, who identified as a gay, Jewish son of Brazilian migrants, seemed, at least on paper, to fit the bill for the exact type of candidate Cairo desired: one that was “diverse” and seemed to appeal to minorities, younger voters, and other groups that traditionally are not aligned with the Republican Party.
The problem, in his quest to satisfy the tenets of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, was that Santos actually turned out to be the most conservative Republican New York sent to Congress in a generation, at least based on his voting record. Santos, who supported President Trump since the famous escalator ride, quickly separated himself from the rest of the state party, the majority of whom remain in thrall to the DC Swamp, and only begrudgingly supported Trump in public (if at all), while plotting ways to undermine him behind closed doors.
Whatever one might think of Santos’ backstory, it is indisputable that the former Congressman’s outspoken support for President Trump and the America First agenda was what made him the bugaboo of Republicans like Nick Lalota, Mike Lawler, and Andrew Garbarino, all of whom follow the marching orders of Joe Cairo and struggle to hide their contempt for the 45th President to their voters. It is very plausible that if Santos had been a RINO like them, they would not have pushed so hard to remove him from Congress, which was spearheaded by New York State RINOs like Nick Lalota.
Now, with Santos’ ouster, the consensus is that by nominating a “moderate” like Pilip, such a person will turn out more voters for the Republican Party.
In fact, the opposite is true: Santos’ district, which had been occupied by a Democrat from 2013-2023, only flipped red because Santos leaned into the MAGA agenda wholeheartedly. Prior to Santos, the last Republican to have occupied the seat was Peter King, who represented the district from 1993-2013, and now supports Nikki Haley for president.
King, who hates Trump, also still commands a great deal of influence on Long Island. He and Cairo are ideological bedfellows, and remain party kingmakers in both Nassau County and throughout New York.
But these old dogs are set in their ways. They continue to lose elections because they stubbornly refuse to embrace MAGA – instead, they take the party in the direction of becoming more woke by nominating affirmative action candidates, like Mazi Pilip, selected on the basis of their skin color, gender, and sexual identity, rather than competence and merit.
Tom Suozzi, the Democrat who represented the district prior to Santos’ surprise victory in 2022, looks very likely to reclaim his former congressional seat in the special election being held on February 13th, having re-entered politics after a short-lived retirement.
If Suozzi wins, it could be the fatal blow to House Republicans – whose majority will shrink from 7 to 6 seats, putting them in serious jeopardy of losing control over the House in 2024, even if President Trump wins the presidential election.
But if losing control of the House is what it takes to teach the GOP a hard lesson, it might be worth it. Indeed, even if Suozzi loses, Mazi is still a registered Democrat who makes no pretenses about her disdain for President Trump. So House Republicans are poised to lose a seat either way, even if Mazi claims to behave more like a Republican — albeit, of the Adam Kinzinger variety. At the end of the day, all this absurdity might be worth sacrificing the House majority to give Republican leadership, including the RNC, a much-needed wakeup call.
President Trump strongly hinted recently about an imminent shakeup at the RNC, truthing on Monday that “Ronna is now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth.” When asked by Newsmax about McDaniel stepping down, the President said: “Well, I think she knows that.”
Alas, McDaniel has doubled down, even in what are likely her final days as RNC Chairwoman, on fundraising for the registered Democrat, Mazi Pilip. McDaniel denied the rumors that she was stepping down in a recent fundraiser email, stating that such speculation was “simply not true” and that all her efforts have been focused on getting Pilip, a Democrat, elected to Congress!
So, in her final days as RNC Chair, McDaniel is going out the way she has always run the organization since taking the reins from Reince Priebus in 2017: by actively working to sabotage President Trump and empower the RINO establishment.
For her efforts, the RNC under McDaniel’s tenure has been an unmitigated disaster: she has driven the organization to near-bankruptcy: 2023 was the worst year for fundraising since 2013, two years before President Trump entered politics — and gave both the organization and party a much needed shot in the arm.
Coming out of 2023, McDaniel reported to having only $8 million of cash on hand, the least amount since 2014. Such an atrocious track record demands a change in leadership: the Republican Party has been driven to near-oblivion by the incompetence of RINOs like McDaniel and Cairo, whose poor judgment is readily on display with their full-throated endorsement of Mazi Pilip.
These results are inexcusable. The fact that Lee Zeldin and Elise Stefanik, both Trump supporters, have also sent out campaign emails in recent weeks encouraging support for Pilip adds further insult to injury. But it is reflective of a party that functions like a rudderless ship as its captain remains on the sidelines, languishing in court, the target of a political prosecution by a weaponized justice department.
It is imperative that here on out, only those who embrace President Trump, and his agenda receive our support and time – and by embrace, not a half-hearted, mealy-mouthed, last-minute endorsement but someone with a proven track record who has been on the frontlines of this movement since the very beginning and has made tremendous sacrifices along the way.
In short, our support must only go to those willing to put everything on the line in order to Make America Great Again.
Mazi Pilip is the exact opposite of everything this party should stand for. Though “diverse” on paper, she is a throwback to the establishment days of Bush and McCain.
For that reason, she deserves to go down in defeat — and Republican voters should not get upset by that prospect. Though Suozzi may win the special election, his term only lasts through November. That would give Republicans more time to learn from their mistake, and put up a true MAGA loyalist, instead of a Democrat, which is what it will take to transform a bellwether district that leans blue into a MAGA stronghold.
It can be done, but it will never happen with candidates like Mazi Pilip (if that even is her real name!) and so-called “leaders” like Ronna McDaniel and Joe Cairo.
Paul Ingrassia is a Constitutional Scholar; Communications Director of the NCLU; a two-time Claremont Fellow, and is on the Board of Advisors of the New York Young Republican Club and the Italian American Civil Rights League. He writes a widely read Substack that is regularly posted on Truth Social by President Trump. Follow him on X @PaulIngrassia, Substack, Truth Social, Instagram, and Rumble.