George Santos drops independent House bid

Former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) announced Tuesday that he was suspending his independent House bid, just over a month after entering the race.

“I have [met] with leaders and with constituents and I have made the decision to hang it up here and stop [pursuing] this race, THIS YEAR!” Santos posted on the social platform X.

Santos made a surprise appearance at President Biden’s State of the Union address in early March, where he announced he’d be entering the race. His campaign committee, however, raised nothing in March, Federal Election Commission filings showed.

Later that month, Santos said he would be running as an independent against Rep. Nick LaLota (R) in New York’s 1st Congressional District.

Santos and LaLota have long butted heads, and while Santos said he remains critical of LaLota’s “abysmal record,” he doesn’t want to split the ticket in the upcoming election and “be responsible for handing the house to Dems.”

“Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems in the race,” he said.

Santos made history late last year as the sixth lawmaker to be expelled from the House. His departure from Congress followed a scathing report from the House Ethics Committee that found he “violated federal criminal laws.”

The former lawmaker faces a federal indictment on 23 counts of wire fraud, identify theft and other campaign charges. He has pleaded not guilty to them all, but his rise and fall threw the House Republican caucus into more chaos after it was without leadership for weeks last year.

The former lawmaker didn’t rule out running in the future and said he is “willing and able to step up to the plate and go fight for my country at anytime.”

“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,” his post said. “It’s only goodbye for now, I’ll be back.”

After being expelled last year, Santos became an internet sensation for selling videos on Cameo.

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