Disgraced former congressman George Santos announced Thursday he plans to challenge Rep. Nick LaLota for New York's 1st Congressional District seat, Newsday Columnist Joye Brown reports. Credit: Newsday

WASHINGTON — Former Republican Rep. George Santos, expelled from the U.S. House three months ago over alleged ethical violations, plans to challenge Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) for New York's 1st Congressional District seat.

Santos, elected in 2022 to represent the 3rd District spanning parts of northeast Queens and Nassau County, made his announcement on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter. He filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to run in the 1st District, which covers Suffolk County’s North Shore and eastern portion.

Santos' post came amid his surprise appearance at the State of the Union address by President Joe Biden. As a former House member, Santos is still afforded the privilege of entering the House floor despite his expulsion in December after a damning House Ethics Committee report that accused him of defrauding campaign donors and filing inaccurate financial disclosures. The U.S. Constitution, which outlines requirements for House members, doesn't forbid expelled congressmen from running again. 

“Tonight, I want to announce that I will be returning to the arena of politics and challenging Nick for the battle over #NY1,” Santos posted. “I look forward to debating him on the issues and on his weak record as a Republican. The fight for our majority is imperative for the survival of the country.” 

LaLota, in a statement, said: “To raise the standard in Congress, and to hold a pathological liar who stole an election accountable, I led the charge to expel George Santos. If finishing the job requires beating him in a primary, count me in.”

Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal criminal charges including identity theft, wire fraud and credit card fraud. His next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14.

Democrats John Avlon, a former CNN political analyst, and Nancy Goroff, a former chair of Stony Brook University's chemistry department, are also running for the seat. Daniel Peter Foti has filed as a Conservative.

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