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Santos ends congressional bid for New York’s 1st District

<i>Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Former New York Rep. George Santos
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Former New York Rep. George Santos

By Rashard Rose and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, CNN

(CNN) — Former New York Rep. George Santos, who was expelled from the House and is facing federal charges, announced Tuesday that he is withdrawing his bid for Congress in New York’s 1st District.

Santos, who previously represented New York’s 3rd Congressional District on Long Island, said in a social media post that he had decided to end his bid because he didn’t want to split the ticket with incumbent GOP Rep. Nick LaLota and “be responsible for handing the house to Dems.”

“Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems in the race,” he said.

Santos also noted in the statement that he didn’t want his run to “be portrayed as reprisal against” LaLota, who has been an outspoken critic of Santos and introduced a resolution to expel him last fall.

“I have meet with leaders and with constituents and I have made the decision to hang it up here and stop perusing this race, THIS YEAR! The future holds countless possibilities and I am ready willing and able to step up to the plate and go fight for my country at anytime,” Santos said.

The announcement comes roughly a month after Santos said he was leaving the Republican Party and would make his congressional comeback bid as an independent. Santos had pledged to take “Ultra MAGA/Trump supporting values to the ballot in November as an Independent.”

Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges, including allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misusing campaign funds and lying about his personal finances on House disclosure reports.

The former congressman became the sixth lawmaker ever to be expelled from the House in December 2023. He was first indicted in May 2023, but momentum to oust him only increased after the House Ethics Committee released a long-awaited report on him later that year.

Santos, who drew controversy during his time on Capitol Hill over revelations that he fabricated large parts of his resume and biography, pledged on Tuesday to “continue to participate in the public policy discussion.”

“I will continue to participate in the public policy discussion and will do my part… I will always strive to stand on the right side of history. It’s only goodbye for now, I’ll be back,” Santos said.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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