George Santos to Run as Independent After GOP Departure for NY Congress

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Former NY Representative George Santos declared this Friday his exit from the Republican Party, aiming to make a return to Congress as an independent candidate.

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Santos, who’s been dealing with a heap of federal charges and was ousted from the House last year, lashed out at the GOP in a post online. He vowed to carry “Ultra MAGA/Trump backing principles to the November polls as an Independent.”

He voiced on X, “I can’t in all honesty stand with a party that represents nothing and succumbs to anything. I am halting my petitioning in #NY01 to get on the ballot as a Republican and will be filing for an independent run.”

Santos had served New York’s 3rd District in Long Island. Just earlier in the month, at President Joe Biden’s State of the Union, the ex-congressman threw his hat in the ring to oppose Republican Rep. Nick LaLota in the 1st District next door. It was LaLota who proposed a resolution for his expulsion last autumn.

LaLota, who’s been a vocal adversary of Santos, retorted to his challenge by highlighting his push to expel his one-time fellow congressman and “hold a pathological liar accountable, the one who snatched an election.”

“Beating him in a primary to finish what I’ve started? I’m all in,” stated LaLota on March 7.

Santos has entered a not guilty plea to 23 federal charges, including fraud over Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misuse of campaign funds, and fibbing about his finances in House disclosure filings.

For Santos to be on the November ballot as an independent, he’s gotta secure an independent nominating petition with signatures from 3,500 district voters and submit it to the Suffolk County Board of Elections by May 28.

This reporting was contributed to by CNN’s team: Molly English, Haley Talbot, David Wright, and Simone Pathe.

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