Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) said she would be “happy” to call a special election to replace Rep. George Santos (D-N.Y.) after calling for his resignation on Thursday.
Hochul’s comments came in the wake of a highly critical report by the House Ethics Committee into Santos Thursday, prompting his announcement that he won’t run for reelection in 2024.
“So, I’m very happy to have him resign,” Hochul said in a CNN clip posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter Thursday. “Stop the embarrassment that has befallen the people of his district and the state of New York, just go away.”
“And I’ll be very happy to call that election,” Hochul added.
The House ethics report found that the controversial New York Republican “blatantly stole from his campaign” and “deceived donors into providing what they thought were contributions to his campaign but were in fact payments for his personal benefit.”
“At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles,” the report reads.
Santos’ decision to give up his seat contrasted with his earlier declaration that he would run for his seat even if the House voted to expel him. His statement Thursday said “my family deserves better than to be under the gun from the press all the time.”
The embattled congressman also called the report “a dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights.”
The possibility of Santos being expelled before the end of his term seems to be rising. A growing number of lawmakers are publicly saying they will vote to expel after the scathing report.
“The report’s findings are extremely damning and I would vote to expel,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told The Hill in a text message.
Raskin was among the 31 Democrats who voted against expelling Santos, saying at the time that doing so would set a bad precedent and noting only five members have ever been expelled.
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Author: Tara Suter