Embattled GOP Rep. George Santos launches 2024 reelection bid despite calls to resign

Rep. George Santos. Photo: Barry Williams for NY Daily News via Getty Images.

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Monday announced plans to run for reelection for his Long Island-based House seat.

Why it matters: Santos' political future has been in serious doubt since revelations about widespread deceptions he made on the 2022 campaign trail prompted many in his own party to demand his resignation.

  • He is also under federal, state and local investigation in addition to a probe by the House Ethics Committee.

Driving the news: "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 on Monday.

  • Santos said the district "need[s] a fighter who … can serve the people fearlessly, and independent of local or national party influence," a nod to his defiance of calls from GOP colleagues in Congress and local party leaders for him to step down.

Reality check: Santos is expected to face a steep uphill battle in trying to keep his seat.

  • He raised just $5,300 in the first three months of 2023, which was offset by $8,300 in refunds he made to donors, according to Federal Election Commission filings over the weekend.
  • In addition to a poll in January showing the vast majority of his constituents want him to resign, a poll from Navigator Research last week found he has a 36 percentage point favorability deficit with Republicans nationally.

What we're watching: Santos has already attracted a Democratic foe in Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan and a Republican primary challenge from veteran Kellen Curry, with many more likely to enter the fray.

  • The district, which voted for President Biden by 10 points in 2020, is a top target for House Democrats.

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