Petty King George Santos Is Out for Revenge With House Campaign

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There’s at least one ghost that won’t stop haunting Congress, and his name is George Santos.

Despite being ousted by the legislative body from his position representing New York’s 3rd congressional district back in November, the notorious con man is back, ready to sow chaos—as he promised—for the lawmakers who gave him the boot. Currently on the docket: fellow Long Island Republican Representative Nick LaLota.

Despite there being 26 other New York lawmakers to run against—including some from counties with overwhelming Republican majorities that would give him a better shot at returning to the lower chamber—Santos has decided to resurrect his political career by running against LaLota, whom he might hate more than anyone else.

“He’s not well liked. He’s an arrogant person. He’s not a nice guy. He’s cocky,” Santos said of LaLota the day before his expulsion. “He’s a traditional meathead, somebody who’s not nice to you for no reason.”

LaLota represents New York’s 1st congressional district, encompassing the eastern portion of Suffolk County, and on the opposite side of the peninsula from where Santos won his election. He was also one of the first members of Congress from either political party to call for Santos to resign after the latter’s lies were exposed. But in an interview with The Daily Beast, Santos rejected the idea that he was running against LaLota simply because he didn’t like him. His explanation was, actually, a bit weirder.

“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 publication, comparing the suburban sprawl to his residence in Queens. “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.”

LaLota isn’t the only New York Republican to endure threats by the indicted former congressman. Santos kicked off his revenge tour back in December with a dig against Representative Nicole Malliotakis, accusing her of using info from classified briefings to turn some cash on the stock market.

“She receives classified briefings as a member of the Ways and Means Committee,” Santos said at the time. “Can somebody explain to me that she miraculously becomes a member of the committee and then she’s doing trades on NYCB with the Signature Bank collapse just a day before having an 80 percent stock hike?”

But it may not be up to voters to decide if Santos returns to office. The reputed hustler—who was caught fabricating his entire résumé and lying about his relation to Holocaust survivors, being “Jew-ish,” his connection to the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, and the kidnapping of his niece, among other things—is currently facing 23 counts related to illegally receiving unemployment benefits, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud. His next court proceeding is scheduled for August 13, with a trial expected in September.