NEW YORK - Get ready NY-03 – campaign ads will be flooding the airwaves until February now that former Congressman George Santos has been expelled from the House.
This special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional district seat will be hotly contested, garner national attention, and will likely turn out voters in large numbers.
"It’s going to be big," Nassau County Republican Committee chairman Joe Cairo said about the special election.
"Everybody will certainly know there's an election," New York State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said.
But first, it all starts with Governor Kathy Hochul.
"Job number one for us in New York is to make sure that Hakeem Jeffries is the Speaker of the House Representatives next January," Hochul said in an interview with NY1.
Hochul now has 10 days to call a special election, then after her announcement, the election has to be held within 70 to 80 days.
Once she does set an election date -that is when each party can nominate a candidate to run on the ballot. And there is no shortage of candidates.
For Democrats, sources say that former Congressman Tom Suozzi is at the top of the list.
But Democratic leadership is also meeting with former State Senator Anna Kaplan and Robert Zimmerman.
Democratic Party Chairman Jacobs says they plan to announce who they are choosing on Tuesday.
"I'm not looking to nominate Santos’ brother, we have a short vetting period of time here, we need candidates who've got some background in having run for office," Jacobs said.
For Republicans, Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Cairo says that they are currently interviewing around 25 candidates.
Cairo says they likely will not be ready to announce their candidate until later next week, but say they are taking extra steps in this vetting process after Santos.
"We've changed our vetting system," Cairo said. "It’s deeper, it's more thorough, and we will engage an outside company when we narrow it down. So we're going to take a much deeper look at our potential candidates."
But both sides agree – the money is going to be pouring into this race.
"I wouldn't be surprised to both candidates for both sides didn't spend north of $20 million combined," Jacobs said.
"I don't know if I can write that many zeros," Cairo said.
Now the dark horse that could throw a wrench in all of this is the Court of Appeals.
They are expected to announce a ruling in the coming weeks that could force the state to redraw its district lines again possibly shaking up the 3rd congressional district lines.
This would impact the general election in 2024 – not the special election in February – but could likely play a role in which candidate is chosen.