George Santos announces bid challenging Nick LaLota


Former disgraced GOP Congressman George Santos, who was expelled from the House of Representatives last December, announced on March 7 that he’s running for Congress again, this time challenging Republican Congressman Nick LaLota, from New York’s 1st Congressional District.

Santos, who attended Pres. Biden’s State of the Union address, hasn’t lost his knack for dramatic timing, making the announcement of his run on X, formerly Twitter, during Biden’s speech. 

“New York hasn’t had a real conservative represent them since I left office arbitrarily, thanks to (Republicans in name only) empty suits like [Nick LaLota],” the post read. “He is willing to risk the future of our majority and the future of this country for his own political gain.”

Additionally, Santos said he witnessed “a frail and feeble president” and that the speech was filled with “spin and deceit.”

Santos is the first congressman to be expelled from the House without first being convicted of a felony since the Civil War. And he is the first Republican. More than 300 of his colleagues from both sides of the political aisle voted for his ouster, with another 114 voting against it.

Although Santos swore he’d never run for public office again, telling reporters after his expulsion, “To hell with this place,” his recent post on X indicates Santos has had a change of heart.

A scathing 56-page report by the House Ethics Committee released on Nov. 16 details evidence Santos broke federal laws, stole from his campaign and delivered a “constant series of lies” to voters and donors on his way to winning a seat in the House of Representatives.  Santos is facing 23 federal indictment charges. His next court hearing is on Aug. 14

Robert Zimmerman, who ran unsuccessfully against Santos in 2022, said the former congressman would not have an opportunity to primary LaLota.

“Every legal analysis says Santos will be in jail before the election,” Zimmerman said. “He publically acknowledged he’s plea bargaining with the feds.”

Santos was able to attend the president’s State of the Union because former members of Congress retain lifetime membership privileges, even after being expelled.

People say they believe there is a reason Santos is running. 

“I think he’s doing anything he can to keep his name in the paper,” said Pamela Panzenbeck, Glen Cove’s mayor. “We are glad he’s gone,” she added, referring to the Republican Party as a whole. 

When Santos’ falsehoods were first discovered in December of 2022, multiple nonpartisan groups formed to advocate for his removal from office, holding numerous protests at his Queens office. Additionally, dozens of constituents visited Washington to hand-deliver signatures to then Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office insisting Santos be expelled.  

Jody Kass Finkel, the founder and coordinator of the nonpartisan group Concerned Citizens of NY-03, said she was relieved when Santos left office. She isn’t taking his new bid for public office seriously.

“George Santos at this point is a complete and utter waste of time for everybody,” Finkel said. “We all now know that he’s a criminal, a charlatan and can’t be trusted.”

Zimmerman, a Democratic national committeeman, said he’s not shocked by Santos’ announcement because the federal government reported in their subpoena and indictment that Santos paid for his meals, clothing and lifestyle utilizing campaign donations.

“This will help him to make more Cameos (videos) to make more money to pay for his lawyer,” Zimmerman said. “He’s also manipulating the media to get attention.”

Although several attempts were made, the Herald was unable to reach LaLota by press time.

—Additional reporting by Laura Lane.