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George Santos says he is suspending his GOP congressional campaign and running as an independent

The former congressman announced via social media on Friday that he'll run as an independent in New York's 1st District.
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.)  outside of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Nov. 30, 2023.
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) outside of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.,  on Nov. 30.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

Former GOP Rep. George Santos said Friday that he plans to file to run as an independent in New York's 1st District this year.

"I am officially suspending my petitioning in #NY01 to access the ballot as a Republican and will be filling to run as an independent," Santos wrote on X.

He cited “today’s embarrassing showing in the House” as his reason for switching to an independent run. The Republican-led House earlier Friday voted to pass a $1.2 trillion spending bill hours ahead of a government shutdown deadline.

Santos was previously elected and sworn in to serve in New York's 3rd District, but he was expelled in December amid federal criminal charges.

Santos was first charged in May with 13 counts including wire fraud and money laundering. In October, Santos was hit with a 23-count superseding indictment. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Before his expulsion, a 56-page House Ethics Committee report concluded that there was “substantial evidence” that Santos “violated federal criminal laws,” including using campaign funds for personal purposes and filing false campaign reports.

In a letter to his House colleagues before the vote, Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, claimed Santos personally defrauded him and his mother.

In a February special election, Democrat Tom Suozzi defeated Republican Mazi Pilip to succeed Santos in the Long Island district.

Earlier this month, Santos announced he would run as a Republican in New York's 1st District, where he would face GOP Rep. Nick LaLota, one of the Republicans who voted to expel Santos, in a primary.

In order to appear on the ballot as an independent, Santos will have to collect and file 3,500 petition signatures from voters in the district. According to the state board of elections, he can start collecting those signatures on April 16 and must submit them to the Suffolk County Board of Elections by May 28.