Long Island Leaders React To George Santos Expulsion


George Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives on Friday morning. Long Island leaders were quick to react.

Santos has joined the company of former Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio), who was expelled in 2002 after his conviction on bribery charges, former Rep. Michael Myers (D-Pennsylvania) who was expelled in 1980 after convictions on bribery and fraud chargers, and John B. Clarke, John W. Reid, and Henry C. Burnett, three representatives who were expelled in 1861 for supporting the Confederacy.

Special Election To Replace George Santos Is In Order

Gov. Kathy Hochul will have to order a special election within 10 days of Santos’s vacancy.

“I am prepared to undertake the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy in New York’s 3rd District by scheduling a special election,” Hochul said. “The people of Long Island and Queens deserve nothing less.”

The parties are already getting ready for this.

“With today’s House vote to finally expel George Santos from its body, this ends a sorry chapter in the history of our county and our country,” Jay Jacobs, chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Party, said. “His loss is a huge win for decency, honesty, and the rule of law.  In close consultation with Governor Kathy Hochul and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Queens Democratic Chair, Gregory Meeks, and myself will be working expeditiously to nominate the most qualified candidate with the best chance of success in the upcoming Special Election to fill the Third Congressional seat.”

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who defeated George Santos in 2020 but declined to run ini 2022, has not said if he will run in the governor-ordered special election yet. He is, however, running in the Democratic primary for the 2024 election for Santos’s seat.

Long Island Democrats React To Santos Expulsion

No candidates have been officially announced yet, but several individuals had already been running to challenge Santos in next year’s election — including his predecessor, former Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who had beaten Santos in the 2020 race for that seat.

“This is a much-needed step in our journey to repair a broken system,” Suozzi said. “We must move beyond our petty, partisan, performative finger-pointing and address the real problems Americans face. Let’s fix this!”

A representative for Suozzi did not immediately answer the question of if Suozzi would run in the special election.

Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti (D-Manorhaven), shared constituents with Santos during his 11-month tenure.

“It’s finally done and the people of the 3rd Congressional District are ready to move on,” Sillitti said. “We need to learn from this experience, make sure it doesn’t happen again, and get back to work for the residents who have been without representation for far too long.”

Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove), who also overlapped with Santos, praised the expulsion as well.

“I am pleased to see that this pathetic chapter in American legislative history has finally come to an end,” Lavine said. “It has been grotesquely unfair for the people of the Third Congressional District to be represented by someone so morally and ethically bankrupt. I look forward to the near future when the national legislative interests of the people of northern Queens and Nassau County will once again be protected.”

George Santos
Reps. Nick LaLota, Anthony D’Esposito, and Andrew Garbarino, three Long Island congressmen, all supported expelling Santos from Congress.Courtesy Office of U.S. Representative Andrew Garbarino

Long Island Republicans, Conservatives React to Santos Expulsion

Santos’s allies at home were few and far between, with the Nassau County GOP demanding his resignation mere days after he took office, after the New York Times wrote the story exposing most of his biography as fabrications.

“The expulsion of George Santos has removed a stain from this institution and will allow the residets of New York’s third congressional district the opportunity to select a representative who is not engrossed in scandals,” Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park), who had introduced the failed second expulsion vote, said. “I will continue to fight for Long Islanders in Congress and work to ensure a true conservative succeeds Santos.”

Rep. Nick LaLota, who joined D’Esposito in bringing that second vote to the floor, also praised the House for takinig actiion.

“Today, my colleagues and I set a strong precedent: A Member who lies about everything about themselves to get elected will be expelled so voters can have a chance at a proper election,” LaLota wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Andrew Garbarino, who represents Suffolk County’s South Shore and sits on the House Ethics Committee, pointed out the findings of the committee while praising the expulsion.

“There is significant evidence that George Santos willfully committed numerous wrongdoings including FEC violations, campaign finance violations, and financial disclosure violations,” Garbarino said. “He exploited his position for personal gain and is undeserving of public office. Over tw0-thirds of Members agreed with the proof laid out in the Ethics Committee Report that passed out of committee unanimously and voted to expel him from Congress. I voted for the expulsion resolution and agree with its outcome.”

The New York Conservative Party, which typically endorses Republican candidates, released a statement following the expulsion as well.

“A stain on Congress has been cleansed,” the party said. “Good riddance, Mr. Santos. Let the special election process begin.”

It is not clear who will run on the Republican side in the special election, although Santos had several Republicans lining up to face him in next year’s primary, including Thomas Ludwig.

“George Santos lied to the American people, and his expulsion from Congress is the first step in restoring trust for the district,” Ludwig said. “As a proud Special Forces veteran with a proven track record of leadership in combat and strategic operations, I understand the importance of trust, integrity, and unwavering commitment to the well-being of our nation.”

Although not from Long Island, Naysa Woomer — Santos’s former communications director who had accurately predicted the third expulsion vote would be successful — praised the event.

“Today was a great day for both the House of Representatives and integrity,” Woomer told the Press. “This vote serves a reminder that Congress should be held to a higher standard for their conduct. The House Ethics was a thoroughly transparent report that confirmed fraudulent activity as well as his duplicitous lies not only to his constituents but also to his colleagues. Failing to cooperate with the committee is a failure of his own making. To the constituents of NY-03, I do hope they elect a new member who will properly represent them in Washington.”