Disgraced Santos plans another run for Congress

Disgraced Santos plans another run for Congress
U.S. Rep. George Santos celebrates his victory on election night. (Photo by Brandon Duffy)

Defrocked Third District Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from his seat in the House and is facing a 23-count indictment, said he is jumping congressional district lines and running in the race to represent New York’s First District.

Santos announced his bid for the First Congressional District Republican Primary Thursday night on X, formerly known as Twitter, during the president’s State of the Union Address in Washington. The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Nick LaLota, who was elected in 2022.

“After a lot of prayer and conversation with my friends and family, I have made a very important decision that will shake things up,” Santos posted on X. “Tonight, I want to announce that I will be returning to the arena of politics and challenging Nick for the battle over #NY1. I look forward to debating him on the issues and on his weak record as a Republican. The fight for our majority is imperative for the survival of the country.”

New York’s First Congressional District encompasses Long Island’s most eastern part. With recently approved district maps, the district no longer covers Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Bay, but adds the Moriches.

“To raise the standard in Congress and to hold a pathological liar who stole an election accountable, I led the charge to expel George Santos,” LaLotta posted on X. “If finishing the job requires beating him in a primary, count me in.”

Santos took to X to call LaLota a “pathetic little man” and a “Democrat RINO [Republican in name only] with an abysmal record.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a national political committee supporting Democratic campaigns for the House, called Santos’ bid in a statement an example of desperation by Republicans in order to remain relevant.

“George Santos is a liar and a grifter who is a disgraced, expelled member of Congress,” DCCC  spokeswoman Ellie Dougherty said. “Santos’ announcement to challenge vulnerable New York Republican Nick LaLota is the latest glimpse into Republicans’ messy, chaotic attempt to maintain the House.”

Santos took office in January 2023, representing the Third Congressional District encompassing parts of Nassau and Queens.

On Dec. 1 Santos became just the sixth member of the House to be expelled through a 311-114 vote, with 105 Republicans voting in favor of his removal.

Santos was tossed out of the House after its bipartisan Ethics Committee released a long-awaited investigative report finding “substantial evidence” that Santos violated federal law.

Investigators said they found Santos used campaign funds for personal purposes, defrauded donors and filed false or incomplete campaign and financial disclosures.

Santos pleaded not guilty in May to a 13-count indictment from federal prosecutors encompassing seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds and two counts of making materially false statements to Congress.

He was later slapped with 10 additional counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of lying to the Federal Election Commission, two counts of falsifying records, two counts of aggravated identify theft and one count of device fraud.

He is scheduled to face trial in federal court for the Eastern District of New York in September. If convicted of the top charges, Santos could face up to 20 years in prison.

Although ousted from Congress, Santos was present at President Biden’s State of the Union address Thursday night. He was able to attend as former congressional members because even those who have been expelled have lifetime membership privileges.

Congressional candidates can either run by being nominated by a political party or filing an independent nominating petition.

Santos filed paperwork Thursday with the Federal Elections Commission proclaiming his statement of candidacy for the First District.

“God bless you all, and we are off to the races!” Santos posted on X.

The district’s primary will be held June 25.

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