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Santos announces 2024 reelection campaign for New York congressional seat

<i>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call
CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call

By Jack Forrest, CNN

Embattled GOP Rep. George Santos announced Monday he will seek reelection in 2024 to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District, defying the calls from some Republicans on Capitol Hill and in his district to step aside.

“I’m proud to announce my candidacy to run for re-election and continue to serve the people of NY-3,” Santos said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Santos faces long odds. He has lied extensively about his resume, education and family background and now faces federal and local investigations into his finances. As a result, senior Washington Republicans have told members of their party that they will not let Santos be the nominee for his seat.

Still, Santos has maintained that he has no intention of stepping down early, and he filed paperwork in March formally declaring his 2024 candidacy.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy let out a laugh when asked by CNN Monday if he would support Santos’ reelection bid, adding, “I didn’t know he announced.”

“We will wait and see who all files,” the GOP leader said.

The freshman congressman received $5,333 in contributions during the first quarter of this year and refunded more than $8,000 in donations, according to campaign fundraising filings. It’s highly unusual for a sitting member of Congress to report a net loss on a fundraising report. That leaves Santos’ campaign with $25,000 in cash on hand as of March 31 and with $715,000 in debt.

Santos has described that debt as personal funds he loaned to his successful 2022 effort for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, though how he amassed the money over a two-year period after reporting a $55,000 salary in 2020 remains one of the biggest questions surrounding his political rise and a possible target for federal prosecutors.

​The House Ethics Committee probe into whether he may have engaged in unlawful activity in his 2022 campaign also appears to be ramping up, with the panel that’s conducting it asking a prospective Santos employee last month to provide details about his allegation that Santos sexually harassed him in January.

The panel gave Derek Myers, who’s accused Santos of an unwanted sexual advance during a private encounter in the congressman’s office, until March 28 to present his evidence of the alleged incident. Santos has denied the claim.

The panel within the committee was put together earlier last month to investigate whether Santos “may have engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office,” according to a committee news release.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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CNN’s Eva McKend and Manu Raju contributed to this story.

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