Apr 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Embattled Rep. George Santos launches re-election bid

Rep. George Santos. Photo: Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Monday announced plans to run for re-election for his Long Island-based House seat.

Why it matters: Santos' political future has been in serious doubt since revelations about widespread deceptions he made on the 2022 campaign trail prompted many in his own party to demand his resignation.

Driving the news: "I'm proud to announce my candidacy to run for re-election and continue to serve the people of NY-3," Santos said in a statement on Monday.

  • Santos said the district "need[s] a fighter who ... can serve the people fearlessly, and independent of local or national party influence," a nod to his defiance of calls from GOP colleagues in Congress and local party leaders for him to step down.

Reality check: Santos is expected to face a steep uphill battle in trying to keep his seat.

  • He raised just $5,300 in the first three months of 2023, which was offset by $8,300 in refunds he made to donors, according to Federal Election Commission filings over the weekend.
  • In addition to a poll in January showing the vast majority of his constituents want him to resign, a poll from Navigator Research last week found he has a 36 percentage point favorability deficit with Republicans nationally.

What we're watching: Santos has already attracted a Democratic foe in Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan and a Republican primary challenge from veteran Kellen Curry, with many more likely to enter the fray.

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