Charlotte Tyler
December 9, 2023

Behind the Scenes in the Rush to Replace New York's George Santos

Consequences that go well beyond the New York Republican's professional future have surfaced as a result of last Friday's expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from Congress.

After Santos was discovered to have used campaign cash for purchases, the historic vote ignited a mad dash among Republicans and Democrats to choose a successor, as the Guardian reported.

We should expect a special election sometime in the new year.

Considering Santos's highly problematic issues -- the former congressman is also facing 23 federal charges, including fraud and conspiracy -- a number of people have previously declared their intention to seek the third congressional district seat that he held in New York.

The fight for Santos's Long Island district, where he previously was as a Democrat for ten years until turning Republican last year, has heated up, because of New York's legislative requirement that a special election take place within ninety days. The district went to Joe Biden in 2020.

The Upcoming Election

In this particular election, there will be no primaries. The nominations for Santos's replacement in the delicately balanced House of Representatives will instead be chosen by local Democratic and Republican party leaders.

This comes as a result of Santos's removal from office, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives shrank by eight seats, to 221-213.

Republicans are also anticipated to declare their candidate soon, and Democrats are slated to present their contender on Tuesday.

Johnson's Take

Prior to Santos' expulsion, House Speaker Mike Johnson noted that Santos, however, has not been convicted on any of these charges as of yet.

“Our party believes in the rule of law and due process,” he said, arguing that expelling Santos was in conflict with Republican values.

During a joint interview she did with Johnson, Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik stated that members who supported Santos' expulsion had voiced concerns regarding the findings of a damning Ethics Committee report that had been released.

She dismissed inquiries regarding the impact on the Republican majority, which was already tenuous, and conveyed confidence that the seat would be re-occupied by a Republican.

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