February date set for special election to replace George Santos

December 6, 2023

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Tuesday evening that the special election to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R) will take place on February 13.

The election will be in New York’s District 3, which covers parts of Long Island and the New York City borough of Queens. 

“As Governor, I have the solemn responsibility to call a special election to ensure the voters of Long Island and Queens once again have representation in Congres,” Hochul said in a proclamation. “Members of Congress provide critical constituent services, serve as a link to federal agencies, and advocate on behalf of the constituents who sent them to Washington. I look forward working with the next representative for the 3rd Congressional District on the issues facing New Yorkers.”

There will be no primary ahead of the February 13 election. Local Democratic and Republican leaders will each pick a candidate to compete for the vacated House seat. 

Candidates have not yet been officially announced, though former state Senator Jack Martins (R) and former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D)—who held the U.S. House seat before losing to Santos in 2022—are among the names reportedly being considered.  

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to expel Santos following the release of a scathing House Ethics Committee report.

The 56-page report detailed a “complex web of unlawful activity involving Representative Santos’ campaign, personal, and business finances. Representative Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”

“He blatantly stole from his campaign. He deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit,” the report said.

Santos was the sixth U.S. Representative to be expelled by his colleagues out of more than 11,000 who have served throughout the history of the United States. He was the first to be expelled who’d neither been deemed disloyal to the U.S. before or during the Civil War, nor had been convicted of a crime. 

However, Santos is facing a September 9, 2024 trial date for 23 separate felony counts, including wire fraud, identity theft, credit card theft, money laundering and falsely reporting to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that he had loaned his campaign $500,000; in fact, he hadn’t given anything while maintaining less than $8,000 in the bank.

Santos has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

PHOTO: George Santos news conference outside Capitol, Thursday morning

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