- The Washington Times - Friday, November 17, 2023

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is urging Rep. George Santos to resign and says she would be “happy” to call the special election to replace him.

Ms. Hochul, a Democrat, nudged Mr. Santos, New York Republican, to leave Congress after a scathing House Ethics Committee report alleged he used political donations for personal purchases and submitted false reports to campaign finance authorities.

Mr. Santos said he will not run for reelection next year. But he is resisting calls for him to leave Congress now.

“He has to go away,” Ms. Hochul said Thursday on CNN. “So, I’m very happy to have him resign. Stop the embarrassment that has befallen the people of his district and the state of New York. Just go away.”

Governors are responsible for calling special elections when there are House vacancies. State law prescribes how the election is scheduled.

“I’ll be very happy to call that election,” Ms. Hochul said.

SEE ALSO: House Ethics chairman introduces resolution to expel George Santos following searing report

Ms. Hochul said she has to call for a special election within 10 days of a vacancy and then schedule the election for 70 to 80 days from that decree. The timing of the 2024 general election could impact the schedule if Mr. Santos were to resign next year, which will be in the second session of the current Congress.

Mr. Santos, who previously admitted to fabricating swaths of his life story, faces nearly two dozen federal charges related to allegations he misused donor funds and lied on financial disclosure reports.

The House held an expulsion vote against Mr. Santos this month but it fell short of the two-thirds support needed to pass. However, the ethics report is changing minds and could provide the cover some lawmakers are looking for to support expulsion, a drastic step that’s only occurred five times in House history.

Several Republicans have said they are willing to flip their votes from “no” to “yes” on expulsion. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who is one of 31 Democrats who voted against expulsion, said he would vote to oust Mr. Santos.

Ms. Hochul said House lawmakers have a “moral responsibility” to oust Mr. Santos so the body can move on.

“How much more evidence do they need that he abused his position in office?” Ms. Hochul said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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