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Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., attends the House vote for new speaker on Jan.  4, 2023.
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., attends the House vote for new speaker on Jan. 4.Olivier Douliery / AFP - Getty Images file

How George Santos' re-election race is shaping up after his indictment

Even before Rep. George Santos' indictment on 13 federal counts, Republicans and Democrats alike were lining up to replace him.


Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., has not yet indicated whether he'll continue running for re-election following his indictment on federal charges. But a lengthy list of Democrats and Republicans are already eyeing up his Long Island district.

Already, five people have filed to run against Santos, including three Democrats: former state Sen. Anna Kaplan, Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan and law professor William Murphy. Another two Republicans — Air Force veteran Kellen Curry and former local Republican Party official Phillip Grillo, who was charged in 2021 for his actions during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol — have also said they'll run in New York's 3rd District.

One person considering a run, but who hasn't officially announced yet is former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, who previously held this seat, but ran for governor last year.

Even under normal circumstances, it's a tough district for Republicans. President Joe Biden carried it by eight percentage points in the 2020 presidential election, according to a Daily Kos analysis, before Santos captured it in 2022 amid broad backlash against Democrats in the New York City metro area.

Now, Democrats are eager to capitalize on Santos' scandals to flip the district, though Republicans think they can hold the line with a fresh candidate.

As details of the charges against Santos were unveiled, those challenging the incumbent condemned him and echoed concerns that Santos isn't giving his district sufficient representation in Congress.

Kaplan tweeted, "While the Government issued the indictment, it is the New Yorkers in NY-03 who were the victims. We deserve better."

And Curry said in a statement, "While Santos is trying to bring more entertainment to politics, the constituents of NY-3 continue to go unrepresented."

If Santos were to resign, a special election would take place earlier than November 2024.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, would have to declare a special election within 10 days of the vacancy. The special election would have to take place 70 to 80 days after Hochul issued a special election proclamation.  

Santos hasn't made any indication that he will resign. And House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday told CNN that "[Santos] will go through his time in trial and let's find out how the outcome is," without calling for Santos to resign.

But others, including fellow New York GOP Reps. Mike Lawler and Anthony D'Esposito, have called on Santos to leave office.