Former NYPD detective announces bid to defeat Santos

Former NYPD detective announces bid to defeat Santos
Mike Sapraicone is running for the Republican nomination in New York's 3rd Congressional District. (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

Mike Sapraicone, a retired NYPD detective and Oyster Bay resident, announced he is running for New York’s 3rd Congressional District as a Republican to unseat beleaguered U.S. Rep. George Santos.

Sapraicone, 67, joins a crowded field that features nine challengers looking to oust Santos, who is currently being investigated by the House Ethics Committee and pleaded not guilty to a 13-count federal indictment alleging multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering. 

Santos could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the top charges.

I’m running for Congress to return integrity and a respected voice to the office, and to focus on issues like public safety, border security, and fiscal responsibility to get our country back on the right track,” Sapraicone said Monday on his Instagram account. 

Kellen Curry, an Afghanistan war veteran and former vice president at J.P. Morgan who lives just outside the 3rd District, is the only other Republican running to dislodge Santos at this time.

Nassau County GOP Chairman Joe Cairo has not made any endorsements yet for who he will back against Santos.

Sapraicone has already received early endorsements for his campaign from former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato and Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo. 

Outside of his work with the NYPD, Sapraicone is the founder and CEO of protection services corporation Squad Security Inc., a former Seaford Board of Education trustee, a Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital board member and co-chair of the New York City Columbus Day Parade. 

Sapraicone’s wife is Eileen Daly-Sapraicone, a Nassau County State Supreme Court judge.

Santos raised only $162,031.52 in the latest quarter while repaying $85,000 of it to himself to cover over $700,000 in personal loans from previous congressional bids, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Santos’ fund-raising numbers put him behind Democratic challengers Anna Kaplan, a former two-time state senator; advocacy group co-founder Zak Malamed; and Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D-Woodbury); and Curry. 

Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields granted a request to modify Santos’ bail conditions. 

Joseph Murray, Santos’ lawyer, asked Shields to expand the area where Santos is allowed to travel freely to a 30-mile radius around Washington, D.C, to go shopping and dining, among other activities. 

“There is a frequent need to travel outside the District of Columbia for usual and customary functions of someone who lives and works in the District of Columbia, such as dining, shopping, meetings, events, and even use of the local airports,” Murray said. 

Prosecutors did not object to the modification request, according to court documents.

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