U.S. Rep. George Santos, the New York Republican whose lies about his background and wealth helped propel him into office, announced Monday that he’s running for reelection.
More than perhaps any incumbent, Santos enters the race as an underdog — abandoned by many fellow Republicans while facing investigations over a myriad of allegations about falsehoods during his last campaign.
During that race, Santos portrayed himself as a graduate of prestigious colleges who had gone on to have a successful career on Wall Street while amassing a real estate investment portfolio. In reality, he didn’t go to college, didn’t work for the Wall Street firms where he claimed to have made big deals and had struggled in recent years to pay his rent.
In his campaign announcement, Santos didn’t mention any of that and instead highlighted his zeal in fighting for conservative principals in Washington and his background as “a poor boy of immigrant parents in Queens.”
“We need a fighter who knows the district and can serve the people fearlessly,” he said.
Santos has previously referred to the fabrications about his background, which included lying about having Jewish ancestry and about having been a star volleyball player, as harmless embellishments.
Journalists have also uncovered other issues in his past, including criminal theft charges in Pennsylvania in 2017 and charges from years ago in Brazil, where he was accused of using a fraudulent check to buy apparel.
Despite those allegations, Santos refused calls from many fellow New York Republicans to resign.
While Santos faces a crush of investigations — by the House Ethics Committee and a county prosecutor in New York — he appears unmoved by the challenges.