Date Set To Replace Ousted Lawmaker George Santos

Date Set To Replace Ousted Lawmaker George Santos

( – Over the last month, members of Congress have tried to expel former Representative George Santos (R-NY) for his alleged deeds while in office. On December 1, they tried again for the third time, and that one stuck. The former NY rep became only the sixth person in the history of the United States expelled from his seat in the Lower Chamber. Following his departure, New York Governor Kathy Hochul had to pick a date for a special election in order to replace Santos. She chose February 13 for the people of New York’s congressional district to elect new representation.

Why Was Santos Expelled?

On October 10, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in New York returned a superseding indictment against the former congressman, adding to his original indictment in May. He was accused of wire fraud, lying to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), falsifying records submitted to the FEC, device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Those charges were in addition to the counts in his previous indictment, which included wire fraud, theft of public funds, money laundering, and lying to Congress.

While those accusations look daunting, the United States has a justice system that presumes a person innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. That hasn’t happened in the Santos case. However, the House Ethics Committee conducted an investigation of the evidence and determined the former representative was likely guilty of at least some of the charges. The group’s 56-page report stated Santos had put his own “private gain above his [duties] to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles.” The committee believed Santos stole from his campaign, tricked his donors, reported fake loans, lied about his background, and was involved in “questionable business dealings.”

The committee’s report was enough to convince the majority of the House that Santos needed to go. He was ousted with a vote of 311 to 114.

Who Will Replace Him?

According to Politico, the special election will happen without a primary. Each party must select a candidate to run for the spot. Democrats are likely to choose former Representative Tom Suozzi (D-NY) for the spot. He held the position before Santos but retired to run for governor in 2022. While there was some controversy about the candidate regarding some previous campaign attacks, Hochel won’t oppose him as the nominee. As for the Republican side, no particular candidate stands out yet, and the party is still weighing its options. A contender should be announced soon.

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