Santos to run for Congress in another New York district

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(The Center Square) — Disgraced former New York congressman George Santos plans to run for Congress again, with a pledge to primary a fellow Republican who pushed for his expulsion.

In a recent social media post, Santos said he plans to challenge Rep. Nick LaLota, a fellow Republican, in New York’s sprawling 1st Congressional District, which includes several Long Island towns.

“I look forward to debating him on the issues and on his weak record as a Republican,” Santos posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The fight for our majority is imperative for the survival of the country.”

Santos said he made the decision after a “lot of prayer and conversation with my friends and family” and criticized LaLota for being willing to “risk the future of our majority and the future of this country for his own political gain” by pushing for his expulsion from Congress. He also glossed over his expulsion, insisting that he left Congress “arbitrarily.”

Congress formally expelled Santos in a bipartisan vote after a damaging report from a House ethics subcommittee found “substantial evidence” of misconduct and illegal activity.

The House ethics probe followed Santos’ federal indictment on 23 counts of fraud, including money laundering and identity theft.

Federal prosecutors in New York allege that Santos and his former campaign treasurer, Nancy Marks, submitted false financial reports to the Federal Election Commission, inflating his fundraising numbers. They also allege he fraudulently collected over $24,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.

A previous indictment filed in May against Santos charged him with embezzling money from his campaign and lying to Congress about his income, among other allegations.

Santos also faces a Federal Elections Commission complaint alleging his campaign engaged in a “straw donor scheme” to conceal the sources of a $705,000 personal loan to his campaign.

His expulsion prompted a special election that led to Republicans losing New York’s 3rd Congressional District seat to Democrat Tom Suozzi, a former congressman.

In a statement, LaLota said he welcomed a primary challenge from the fellow Republican, saying it would help him “write one of the last chapters in the mostly fictional story that is George Santos.”

“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,” he posted on social media. “If finishing the job requires beating him in a primary, count me in.”