George Santos Explains Why He’s Raised $0 for Return Congressional Bid

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP

Disgraced former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) reported raising a stunning zero dollars in the first quarter of the year as he attempts to run against his nemesis, Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY)—and explained away the goose egg as an intentional decision to stop people from thinking he’s a grifter.

People have a variety of reasons to think Santos' bid against LaLota is unserious. He’s an admitted liar who was indicted on 23 federal counts, who announced his return bid for Congress during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last month while wearing bedazzled shoes and a bedazzled collared shirt.

And he is not running as a Republican, rather he is running as an independent and is attempting to get on the general election ballot.

But since announcing his run, Santos has raised no money, leading even more people to believe this congressional bid is nothing more than a joke and a way to anger LaLota.

According to his filing with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, the new campaign account he formed to run against LaLota reported spending money even as it failed to raise any—a rarity for a candidate attempting to oust an incumbent.

George Santos’ Second Coming—This Time It’s Personal

Santos has an excuse for this: He doesn’t want people to believe his bid against LaLota is a way to rake in cash for personal reasons.

“I will not be raising a single dime until I’m confirmed on the ballot, unlike many in the media speculating I’m only running to ‘grift’ I’m setting the standard that only confirmed ballot access candidates should raise money,” Santos said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

While there was no activity in his current campaign account, his old campaign account did have to refund his old donors who supported him before he was expelled from Congress and announced he would not be seeking re-election to his old seat.

Exactly why Santos is running is unclear. He has denied his bid against LaLota is a revenge tour and rather claimed he is running in a new district because he and his husband want to own chickens in their backyard.

“My husband and I both enjoy that kind of life. We’re dying to have a chicken coop and stuff like that, and in Suffolk County, it’s much easier to get that,” Santos told The Daily Beast earlier this month. “In Nassau County, it’s full of restrictions on where and how much, and can you get chickens and can you get roosters because of neighbors and noise and that stuff.”

Regardless of his stated reasons for running against LaLota, it’s still personal. On a number of occasions, Santos has expressed his disdain for LaLota.

Before his expulsion, Santos held a pen and pad and stood with reporters in the Capitol, where he called LaLota a “meathead” and explicitly said, “I don’t like Nick LaLota.”

“He’s not well-liked. He’s an arrogant person. He’s not a nice guy. He’s cocky,” Santos told reporters. “He’s a traditional meathead, somebody who’s not nice to you for no reason.”

If Santos does get on the general election ballot, it could pose an issue for Republicans as he could siphon away votes from LaLota in a district Democrats would like to flip. But to make the ballot Santos still needs to obtain enough petition signatures from district residents, something some experts think remains unlikely.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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