Fomer Democratic state Sen. Anna Kaplan has joined next year’s 3rd Congressional District election, seeking to oust incumbent U.S. Rep. George Santos.
Kaplan, who represented the state’s 7th Senate District from 2019-2022, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission Monday, according to filings. Kaplan, who has not yet commented on the launch of her campaign, joined the growing Democratic field of challengers that includes Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan and attorney Will Murphy vying to reclaim the district.
Kaplan is an Iranian immigrant whose parents sent her to the United States for her safety and was an active member of the Great Neck community before her time in government. She was elected to serve the Town of North Hempstead’s 4th District as a councilwoman in 2011.
In 2016, she sought election to the House of Representatives but lost to current Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in the Democratic primary. Kaplan defeated former Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips in 2018 to represent the 7th Senate District.
In 2022, she lost to Republican Jack Martins, who previously served the 7th Senate District.
Lafazan ran against Robert Zimmerman, whose name has been included in lists of other potential candidates for the election, in the district’s Democratic primary last year. Zimmerman won the primary but lost to Santos in the general election
Murphy, 39, is a legal studies professor at St. John’s University, according to his campaign biography. Born in Mineola, Murphy now lives in Farmingdale with his wife, Megan and his 3-year-old son Connor.
Santos made his announcement to seek re-election last month, despite his lack of support from local and state Republican groups. A press release on Santos’ stationery described the controversial representative as “a dependable conservative vote in Congress and a fearless champion of conservative values.”
The announcement came in the midst of federal and local investigations into Santos’ personal, professional and financial background. The congressman was caught lying about his education and work experience on a resume he submitted to Republican groups ahead of last year’s election.
Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph Cairo, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, newly elected state Sen. Jack Martins and newly elected U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito have been vocal in expressing their complete lack of support for Santos going forward.
Efforts to reach the Nassau County Republican Committee for comment were unavailing.
“He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople,” Cairo said at a press conference earlier this year.
The House Ethics Committee launched a formal investigation into Santos last month and will scrutinize his most recent congressional campaign, officials announced.
The committee will determine if Santos failed to properly disclose information and statements to Congress, engaged in sexual misconduct with someone seeking employment in his D.C. office and violated potential federal conflict-of-interest laws.
Santos’ official congressional Twitter account said the newly elected representative “is fully cooperating” in the investigation, but the congressman would not comment on the matter.
Republican Kellen Curry has also filed to run in next year’s 3rd District election and discussed the need to bring transparency back to Long Island and Queens.
“What we’re really focusing on right now is making sure that we draw attention to the current state of leadership,” Curry said in an interview two weeks ago. “Quite frankly, nothing happens if we don’t have leadership that we can believe in.”
Curry, a Queens resident who lives just outside the 3rd District, is an Afghanistan war veteran and former vice president at J.P. Morgan. Curry completed two tours of duty in Afghanistan and currently serves in the Air Force Reserves, according to his campaign website.