George Santos drops independent House bid

NEW YORK — Scandal-plagued former Rep. George Santos dropped his independent bid on Tuesday for an eastern Long Island House seat.

Santos, who faces multiple felony charges, wrote on X that he did not want to potentially divide the Republican vote for first-term GOP Rep. Nick LaLota and help the eventual Democratic nominee in the 1st congressional district.

“Although Nick and I don’t have the same voting record and I remain critical of his abysmal record, I don’t want to split the ticket and be responsible for handing the house to Dems,” Santos wrote in the post.

LaLota responded: “Chat GPT translation: He’s taking a plea deal.”

Santos became the sixth member in history to be expelled from office in December after a damning House Ethics Committee report concluded he engaged in a “complex web” of illegal activity. Santos’ former House seat, which covers parts of Queens and Nassau County, was subsequently flipped in a February special election by Democrat Tom Suozzi.

The former lawmaker faces 23 felony fraud charges, including identity theft and charges he submitted false campaign finance reports. He has pleaded not guilty.

Despite his numerous legal troubles, Santos insisted in his post Tuesday he wanted to remain active in politics.

“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,” he posted.

Santos had previously signaled in March plans to run for the Republican nomination against LaLota, but later abandoned those plans to run as an independent.