By Alvin Paul and Varun Pillai
On November 8, 2022, many New Yorkers cast their ballots through either mail-in or traditional voting. In the newly-formed congressional district of NY-3, which encompasses northern Nassau County & northeastern Queens, 54.1% of voters chose the Republican candidate George Santos over his Democratic opponent Robert Zimmerman.
Source by Alvin Paul
District three New Yorkers gather together to protest George Santos' presence in congress as their representative.
Santos worked in both New York and Florida until 2018, where he ventured into politics, working with Republican Vickie Paladino’s campaign. In 2020, he ran as a Republican for the House of Representatives in NY-3, against incumbent Democrat Thomas Suozzi. No other candidates came forward, leaving Santos as the de-facto nominee that year. After losing to Suozzi, Santos continued to urge a recount, claiming the vote totals were misrepresented.
Santos’ controversy arguably starts with his account of his whereabouts. He spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally the day before the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and later attended a similar rally at the Ellipse in Washington, DC. He said he was "never on Capitol grounds" on January 6 and called it a "sad and dark day,” acknowledging that Joe Biden fairly won the 2020 election.
After his election, a December 2022 New York Times article reported that he had misrepresented many facets of his life and career, including his employment and educational history. Santos’ lawyer responded that the Times was "attempting to smear [Santos'] good name with these defamatory allegations.” Despite requests for proof, they were unable to provide evidence that debunked the Times’ claims.
“Personally, I do put partial blame on the current legal system due to the fact that such simple background information was overlooked and caused major havoc amongst New Yorkers. Overall, George Santos' actions to receive his government position are completely immoral and practically illegal. His behaviors and commitment to the House of Representatives will only be known once he is seen in action,” junior Brandon Noguera said.
Additionally, Representative Santos has been called out for falsified claims about his education. He claimed that he attended Horace Mann School in the Bronx followed by Baruch College, but both institutions came out claiming that they had no record of him ever attending. Similarly, Santos claimed to have attended NYU, which the university refuted. Santos has been called out by his claimed former employers. In various pieces of campaign literature, he claimed to be formerly employed by Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, both of which have no record of his employment.
“The Times was 'attempting to smear [Santos'] good name with these defamatory allegations...'”
“George Santos should absolutely not be in the position of power he is in currently. If a federal worker was found to have lied on their job application about even the most minor detail, they would most likely be swiftly fired. However, George Santos, who has lied extensively regarding his educational, work and cultural background, still somehow possesses a seat in Congress,” junior Guranaad Kaur said.
In response to the criticism he has received from both Democrats and Republicans, Representative Santos has announced that he has temporarily stepped down from his congressional committee assignments until “things got settled.”
As Santos is the representative of NY-3, his jurisdiction does encompass New Hyde Park. Across the board, Santos performed better in the parts of Nassau County that are in NY-3 compared to Queens, where Zimmerman drew slightly more support. However, many within Nassau have turned against Santos after learning about his lying on his resume. The Nassau County GOP has called for him to resign by stating, “today, on behalf of the Nassau County Republican Committee, [they’re] calling for his immediate resignation,” at a Long Island press conference.
“Being an elected official, one would hope that a public servant is held to a higher moral standard and you would step down if you did something shameful or you would be asked to. Unfortunately, lately, doing shameful things as a government official has not had politicians pay a political price. But the Nassau county GOP has asked him to step down; kudos to them for trying to hold him up to a certain standard,” social studies chairperson Mr. Galvin said.