March 31, 2023

Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) said on Tuesday he would stand with Rep. George Santos’ (R-NY) challenger if the embattled congressman decides to run for Congress again in 2024.

“George Santos is a joke of a ‘congressman’ and I look forward to standing with the Nassau County Republican Committee in supporting his primary opponent should he make the foolish decision to run and lose in 2024,” D’Esposito told TPM in a statement.

D’Esposito’s remarks to TPM come shortly after Santos filed a statement of candidacy to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday. 

The filing — first flagged by Politico —  signals that Santos might run to seek another term in Congress in 2024. The paperwork does not guarantee he will run for reelection but it does give Santos permission to fundraise and spend money on campaign-related expenses.

Santos has not yet made an official announcement on if he’ll run for reelection and his D.C. office told TPM they could not comment on campaign-related issues.

D’Esposito — who was the first Republican to call on Santos to resign — has been a fierce critic of his fellow freshman Republican since the New York Times published an explosive report in December revealing Santos fabricated the majority of his background and credentials, like graduating from Baruch College and working at Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

Santos has since admitted to “embellishing his resume” — including acknowledging he never “worked directly” for those companies and saying he never claimed to be Jewish, just “Jew-ish.”

Reports have also revealed unexplained irregularities in the New York freshman’s campaign finances and alleged scams he ran before taking office. 

He is currently under multiple local and federal investigations as well as a House Ethics Committee investigation for a handful of allegations, including “unlawful activity” during his 2022 campaign.

Amid these revelations, New York Republicans and Nassau County GOP have repeatedly called on the lying congressman to resign. 

Recent polls have echoed the New York Republicans’ sentiments. A January Newsday–Siena College poll showed 78% of voters surveyed from the district which Santos represents believe the controversial freshman should resign. And similarly, a February Siena College Research Institute Survey poll indicated that 66% of New York voters believe the Long Island Republican should resign from Congress.

But despite the bipartisan staunch criticism, Santos has refused to resign.

While New York Republicans haven’t been successful at forcing Santos to resign on his own – or get the rest of the House GOP’s thin majority to push him out – they are trying to ensure that the controversy-stricken lawmaker at least can’t profit off his lies.

Last week, New York Republicans, including D’Esposito as well as Reps. Brandon Williams (R-NY) and Nick LaLota (R-NY), introduced the “No Fortune For Fraud” Act, aimed at ensuring current or former members of Congress convicted of fraud can not make money from book or TV deals. 

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