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George Santos has a negative fundraising quarter as legal troubles mount

The New York Republican had to refund thousands of dollars to past contributors, according to his campaign finance reports.

By Emily Singer - October 16, 2023
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U.S. Representative George Santos, R-NY., is seen in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Friday, October 13, 2023. (Photo by Craig Hudson/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
U.S. Representative George Santos, R-NY., is seen in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Friday, October 13, 2023. (Photo by Craig Hudson/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) did not raise a single dollar in the last fundraising quarter, and instead refunded $16,526 to past contributors who donated to his campaign, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Santos, who is now facing dozens of federal fraud charges related to his 2022 bid for Congress, said he is running for reelection and will not resign.

However, he had just $22,678 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30, according to the quarterly fundraising report he filed with the FEC. That’s not nearly enough to run a competitive campaign in his Long Island-based 3rd congressional district, where television advertising is very expensive.

Even more troubling for Santos is that his campaign is now $753,405 in debt, according to his FEC report, with big sums owed to his campaign consultants and a caterer for his election night party. That sum will be difficult to pay off if he is not bringing in fundraising dollars.

Santos was first indicted in May on 13 charges, including money laundering, theft of public funds, wire fraud, and making false statements to the House of Representatives. The wire fraud and money laundering charges were related to his 2022 campaign. Prosecutors allege that Santos was engaged in a fraudulent scheme in which he made donors think they were giving to a political committee to help his campaign when, in fact, he was pocketing the funds and using them to pay for personal expenses.

On Oct. 10, Santos was hit with yet another indictment, which alleges that he filed fraudulent fundraising reports with the FEC. The indictment alleges that he reported a fake a $500,000 personal loan to his campaign when he only had $8,000 in personal and business bank accounts to his name. Prosecutors also allege that Santos stole his donors’ credit card information and attempted to make $44,800 in charges.

Santos has denied the allegations in the indictments, and has already announced his reelection campaign for reelection in his competitive House seat.

“I’m going to continue to fight this as much as I said in the past. Nothing has changed,” Santos told reporters after his Oct. 10 indictment, according to CNN. “I think I’ve made it clear that I will fight this to prove my innocence. So yeah, I’m pretty much denying every last bit of charges.”

Santos is one of 18 Republicans who represent districts President Joe Biden carried in 2020, making him one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country.

However, his legal woes and now insufficient funds to wage a competitive campaign further imperil his hopes of returning to Congress in January 2025.

Inside Elections, the nonpartisan political analysis outlet, rates the 3rd district race a “toss-up.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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