Updated Apr 23, 2024 - Politics & Policy

George Santos drops third-party bid for Congress

Former Rep. George Santos in Washington, D.C., in December. Photo: Mandel NGAN / AFP via Getty Images

Former Rep. George Santos announced Tuesday he's dropping out of the Congressional race after mounting an independent, third-party bid last month against Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.).

The big picture: Santos, who was a Republican when he was expelled from Congress in December after less than a year, would have potentially siphoned off GOP votes in a swing district that could help determine the House majority.

  • Santos acknowledged this in a post to X Tuesday, saying: "Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems in the race."

Zoom in: "I don't want my run to be portrayed as reprisal against Nick Lalota," Santos said. "Although Nick and I don't have the same voting record and I remain critical of his abysmal record, I don't want to split the ticket and be responsible for handing the house to Dems…"

  • He added that the future "holds countless possibilities" and he will continue to "participate in the public policy discussion."

Catch up quick: Santos initially planned to challenge LaLota as a Republican, which he announced during an unexpected — and uninvited — appearance at the State of the Union.

  • But hours after the House passed a $1.2 trillion spending bill reviled by the House's right-wing hardliners, Santos said he would mount an independent bid and that he "can no longer be part of the Republican Party."
  • The House voted to expel Santos in December over his many fabrications on the 2022 campaign trail and his two federal indictments.

Go deeper: GOP push emerges to keep George Santos away from the Capitol

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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