Scandal-plagued Rep. George Santos filed paperwork Tuesday with federal regulators formally declaring his 2024 candidacy.
The formal declaration does not mean that the embattled congressman has to pursue reelection. His action follows a demand last month from the Federal Election Commission that he declare his intentions after the Long Island Republican crossed a fundraising threshold that required him to file a statement of candidacy.
Last week, when asked by CNN’s Melanie Zanona whether he’d run for office again, Santos answered, “Maybe,” and acknowledged that some of his fellow Republicans had urged him not to seek reelection. But he said he was focused on his current job in Congress.
Santos, who has lied extensively about his resume, education and family background, faces federal and local investigations into his finances and a House ethics committee probe into whether he may have engaged in unlawful activity in his 2022 campaign.
Tuesday was the deadline for Santos to respond to federal regulators’ demand. The freshman has faced repeated questions about the accuracy of his campaign’s filings with the FEC and the identity of his treasurer.
Notably, his statement of candidacy said that he does not anticipate expending his personal funds on a reelection bid.
Some of the biggest questions around Santos’ campaign activity have centered on the financial windfall that allowed the Republican to report a personal loan of $705,000 to his successful 2022 campaign. In Santos’ previous, failed bid for Congress, in 2020, his personal financial disclosure form listed no assets and a salary of $55,000.
He has said he earned the money through his firm, The Devolder Organization, but he listed no Devolder clients on the financial disclosure he was required to file last year as a candidate.