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Disgraced ex-Rep. Santos to run as independent after ’embarrassing’ GOP vote

Former Republican Congressman George Santos will now attempt to run for office as an independent after blasting House Republicans' actions during a budget vote on Friday. File Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI

1 of 3 | Former Republican Congressman George Santos will now attempt to run for office as an independent after blasting House Republicans’ actions during a budget vote on Friday. File Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI | License Photo

March 23 (UPI) — Former Republican Congressman George Santos says he will now attempt to run for office as an independent after what he called an “embarrassing showing” by the House GOP during a vote to avert a government shutdown.

Santos, who was expelled by the House in December in the wake of federal fraud charges, had been petitioning to be added to the ballot as a Republican in New York’s 1st Congressional District ahead of the upcoming election on Nov. 5.

But, after what he called “today’s embarrassing showing in the House,” announced in a post on X the he could “no longer be part of the Republican Party.”

Santos’ outburst came after House Speaker Mike Johnson rebuffed threats by far-right lawmakers aligned with former President Donald Trump and used Democratic votes to help pass a $1.2 trillion spending bill averting a partial government shutdown.

“The Republican Party continues to lie and swindle its voter base. I in good conscience cannot affiliate myself with a party that stands for nothing and falls for everything,” Santos wrote.

“I am officially suspending my petitioning in #NY01 to access the ballot as a Republican and will be filing to run as an independent…I will take my Ultra MAGA/Trump supporting values to the ballot in November as an Independent.”

He closed by tagging current 1st District Rep. Nick LaLota, a Republican, and John Avlon, the district’s presumptive Democratic nominee.

“I’ll see you boys in November!,” Santos wrote.

Santos had been a right-leaning Republican during his time in office. He has maintained close ties to House Freedom Caucus members Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.

Santos earlier this month announced his bid to be re-elected to Congress, after previously serving New York’s 3rd Congressional District. The same day as the announcement, Santos was photographed by UPI speaking with both Boebert and Gaetz at the U.S. Capitol.

LaLota at the time responded to that announcement by saying he previously “led the charge” to expel his challenger from the House.

“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,” LaLota wrote on X.

“If finishing the job requires beating him in a primary, count me in.”

Santos faces almost two dozen federal charges following a probe by a House ethics committee that found “substantial evidence” that he committed fraud.

He pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges of wire fraud, false statements, falsifying records, identity theft and access device fraud after being accused of participating in a credit card scheme that repeatedly charged the accounts of campaign contributors.

The New York native faced three separate attempts to remove him from office less than one year into his term.

His consistent denial of wrongdoing and accusations of lying about his past, made him regular fodder for late night comedic TV.

In order for Santos to get his name on the ballot, he’ll need to secure 3,500 signatures from voters in the 1st district and present that data to the Suffolk County Board of Elections by May 28.



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