Former New York Rep. George Santos Drops Independent Bid for Congress

Katabella Roberts
By Katabella Roberts
April 24, 2024Congress
Former New York Rep. George Santos Drops Independent Bid for Congress
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) leaves the Capitol after his fellow members of Congress voted to expel him from the House of Representatives, on Dec. 1, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Former Rep. George Santos is withdrawing his independent bid for a seat in Congress in New York’s 1st District, he has announced.

The former lawmaker—who had represented New York’s 3rd District before being ousted from the House in December last year—said he was ending his bid because he did not want to split the ticket with incumbent Republican Rep. Nicholas J. LaLota.

“I have decided to withdraw from my independent run for #NY1,” Mr Santos wrote on the social media platform X on Tuesday evening. “I don’t want my run to be portrayed as reprisal against Nick Lalota … Although Nick and I don’t have the same voting record and I remain critical of his abysmal record, I don’t want to split the ticket and be responsible for handing the house to Dems.”

The former New York representative added that staying in the race “all but guarantees a victory” for his Democratic opponents.

“I have meet [sic] with leaders and with constituents and I have made the decision to hang it up here and stop perusing [sic] this race, THIS YEAR!” he continued. “The future holds countless possibilities and I am ready willing and able to step up to the plate and go fight for my country at any time. I will continue to participate in the public policy discussion and will do my part… I will always strive to stand on the right side of history.”

The former congressman noted that his political career was not ending though, adding that he was only saying “goodbye for now” and he would “be back” at some point in the future, although he did not elaborate further on when or in what capacity he would return.

‘I Will Never Back Down’

Mr. Santos initially announced plans to run for Congress again in March, just months after being expelled from the House by lawmakers after being charged with multiple counts of fraud and stealing from donors.

The lawmaker told reporters while attending President Biden’s State of the Union address at the Capitol on March 7 that he felt compelled to run after watching “a frail president deliver spin and lies to the American people from inside the chambers.”

“I have made several personal sacrifices in the name of serving the American people,” he said at the time. “My promise is that I will never back down because of my love for this country.”

Just two weeks later, Mr. Santos said he would be leaving the Republican Party and running as an independent against Mr. LaLota, who had called for an investigation into him in December and introduced a resolution to expel him.

Prosecutors Unveil Charges

“The Republican Party continues to lie and swindle its voter base,” he told reporters just hours after the GOP-controlled House passed a $1.2 trillion bill to fund the remaining 70 percent of the government.

“I in good conscience cannot affiliate myself with a party that stands for nothing and falls for everything,” he added.

Mr. Santos represented New York’s 3rd Congressional District from Jan. 3, 2023, to Dec. 1, 2023, before being removed from the House.

In May last year, he pleaded not guilty to federal charges of wire fraud, money laundering, misappropriation of public funds, and making false statements to Congress after prosecutors alleged he used a limited liability company (LLC) to carry out a “scheme to defraud supporters of his candidacy for the House” during his successful congressional campaign in September 2022.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Santos illegally transferred donations and used the money to purchase personal items, including clothing, and to pay off debts.

Mr. Santos has also been charged with unlawfully applying for unemployment benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act during the pandemic and lying to the House of Representatives in financial statements.

He has also pleaded not guilty to those charges.

From The Epoch Times

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