by Garrett Frisk
It's official: George Santos is running for re-election. It feels like forever ago that the Republican flipped New York's 3rd congressional district in a surprise upset after incumbent Democrat Tom Suozzi left his seat behind to wage an unsuccessful run for governor. Just a month later, The New York Times reported that Santos's resume and life story were largely fabricated. Over the coming months, news outlets uncovered a treasure trove of lies, scams, and falsehoods in Santos's past, leading to numerous calls for him to resign. But Santos refused to step down, and now he is seeking a second term. In the first quarter of 2023, he raised $5,300, spent $8,300 and ended with $32,000 on hand. His campaign website can be found here. Santos's chances of winning re-election appear to be slim-to-none, which begs the question: who will be the one to beat him?
More likely than not, the one who takes down Santos will be a fellow Republican. There is already a challenger in the race: J.P. Morgan vice president Kellen Curry, whose campaign website can be found here. Numerous other Republicans have been mentioned as primary challengers to Santos, including Manhattan GOP chair Andrea Catsimatidis, state assemblyman Michael Durso, 2022 Lieutenant Governor nominee Alison Esposito, former state assemblyman Michael LiPetri, Nassau County legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip, Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Phillips, and Brookville mayor Daniel Serota. A great deal of speculation has centered around state senator Jack Martins, who was the Republican nominee for the 3rd congressional district in 2016 and lost to Tom Suozzi. However, Martins has ruled out a congressional campaign, as has Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
Even if Santos somehow makes it through the Republican primary, he'll still have to clear the general election. Currently, the only declared Democratic candidate is St. John's University School of Law professor Will Murphy. Murphy does not have a campaign website yet, but his Instagram page can be found here. Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan, who ran for this district in 2022, also appears to be in the race; it's unclear if he has formally declared his campaign, but he has filed with the FEC and is openly fundraising on Twitter, so it's probably fair to say he's running. Lafazan raised $345,000 in the first quarter of 2023, spent $55,000, and ended with $272,000 on hand. His campaign website can be found here, though it doesn't seem to have been updated since his 2022 campaign.
However, there are many other Democrats who could run. The only one who has expressed interest is healthcare executive Melanie D'Arrigo, who ran for this district in 2020 and 2022 but lost the primary both times. Tom Suozzi, Santos's predecessor, is reportedly also considering a campaign. 2022 nominee Rob Zimmerman has also been mentioned as a potential candidate, as have state assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal and former state senator Anna Kaplan. Jacob Rubashkin of Inside Elections also mentioned Nassau County legislator Siela Bynoe, who ran for the 4th congressional district in 2022 but dropped out after redistricting moved her home into the 3rd district. However, not everyone is interested in running; two Democrats who ran for this district in 2022, former Suffolk County deputy executive Jon Kaiman and marketing executive Reema Rasool, have ruled themselves out.