George Santos was expelled from the House of Representatives on Friday. The now-former congressman from New York had flipped a Democratic seat in November 2022, was sworn in in January and had not even been in office for a year. 311 legislators voted in favor and 114 against to vacate his seat, which will remain that way until a replacement is elected.
According to the House Ethics Committee, there was "substantial evidence" that the Republican committed severe federal crimes, although he has not been formally convicted of any of them.
🚨 FULL LIST OF 105 REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED TO EXPEL GEORGE SANTOS pic.twitter.com/5UMafaIZGz
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) December 1, 2023
After the vote, in which his GOP colleagues were divided almost evenly, Santos became the sixth legislator in history to be expelled from Congress, after John Clark, John Reid, Henry Burnett, Michael Myers and James Traficant, whose expulsion took place in July 2002, after he was convicted of 10 federal charges.
Traficant tried to return to Capitol Hill in 2010 but lost to his former aide, Tim Ryan, best known for being the 2022 Ohio Democratic Senate candidate.
Although some Republicans believe expelling Santos is shooting themselves in the foot, others could not take it any longer as the former representative maintained an attitude that they considered toxic. Santos faces several crimes for fraud during his congressional campaign. Those defending him, such as Rep. Nancy Mace, justify their decision by believing in the presumption of innocence.
What about the Santos vacancy?
According to the United States Constitution, all vacancies in the House of Representatives must be filled by special elections scheduled by the governor of the state, in this case, New York.
Therefore, Kathy Hochul (D-NY) will be in charge of setting the date to elect George Santos' replacement. According to New York state law, the elections must be called within ten days after the congressman's expulsion, and the chosen day must be between 70 and 80 days after.
Unlike traditional elections, the parties will not hold primaries; instead, local leaders will select candidates for the special elections.