George Santos Ends Third Party Bid For New York’s First Congressional District

George Santos
George Santos, right, and attorney Joseph Murray, after his court appearance in October.
Michael Malaszczyk/Long Island Press

As was said once before – George Santos, we hardly knew ye.

Santos, the disgraced former U.S. congressman who was expelled from the House of Representatives in December, has – unsurprisingly – ended his long shot, third party bid in New York’s first Congressional district, where he was challenging incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Rocky Point) and looking at a three-way race between himself, LaLota, and whoever the Democratic candidate will be. That primary is between former CNN anchor John Avlon and Stony Brook professor Nancy Goroff, who lost in a race to Lee Zeldin for the seat back in 2020.

Santos explained on X that while there is no love lost between him and LaLota, he doesn’t want to split the vote and potentially hand the seat to a Democrat.

“I don’t want my run to be portrayed as reprisal against Nick Lalota,” Santos wrote. “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… It is clear that with the rise of antisemitism in our country we cannot afford to hand the house to Dems as they have a very large issue with antisemitism in their ranks… Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems in the race.”

A Brief (And True) History Of George Santos

Santos was elected to Congress in November 2022 over Democrat Robert Zimmerman, filling the seat that was vacated by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in New York’s third congressional district. However, roughly a month after his victory, Santos was exposed by The New York Times for having lied about most of his resume. Nevertheless, Santos took office in January 2023 amidst the controversy. A mere five months into his term, he was indicted on 13 federal charges of campaign finance fraud – and 10 more of those charges were added in October, bringing the total count to 23.

During this time, Santos managed to survive two House referendums on expelling him.

In November of 2023, the House Ethics Committee – which Santos’s then-Long Island colleague Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) is a member of – released a report claiming that there was evidence he had committed multiple federal crimes.

The third time was the charm, and he was expelled in December. He was only the sixth individual in U.S. history to be expelled from Congress.

A special election was held two months later to fill Santos’s seat. Tom Suozzi came out of political retirement to run on the Democratic side, and soundly defeated Nassau County Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip (R-Great Neck) for the seat.

Aside from doing Cameos, Santos remained relatively silent immediately after his expulsion. That is, until he attended President Biden’s State of the Union Address – something he was privileged to do as a former congressman – and announced shortly thereafter he would be challenging LaLota in the Republican primary for his seat on March 7.

Less than a month later, he announced he would ditch the Republican primary and run in the race as an independent. As of Tuesday, he is withdrawn from the race.

Multiple news outlets have reported that Santos raised a whopping $0 in his campaign against LaLota.