Anna Kaplan, a Democrat and former member of New York’s state Senate whose personal background includes fleeing her country of Iran as a child amid threats of potentially devastating religious persecution, has formally unveiled her campaign to unseat George Santos.
Santos, of course, is the now infamous first-term GOP Congressman in New York who has faced a cascade of reports revealing evident lies he has told regarding his personal, family, educational, and work backgrounds. There’s more to the problems with Santos than just PR, and he has now been criminally charged at the federal level, where he faces allegations including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and false statements to the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s alleged to have shepherded large sums from prospective campaign donors into a personal company of his where he used the money for his own expenses, and prosecutors also claim he improperly received tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment assistance in New York while employed!
In a video Kaplan made available promoting her campaign, she spotlighted areas of concern including women’s rights and children’s safety. Involved with the first area is, of course, the push for access to reproductive healthcare, and in New York, residents will be voting next year on a proposed amendment to their state Constitution that would formally put abortion rights, whether needed by women or any other group, into their state’s guiding document. Threatening children’s safety is the proliferation of dangerous firearms — guns Santos has, like so many other Republicans, avowedly supported.
Documents indicating an intention to run on Kaplan’s part had already surfaced, but she hadn’t made an official announcement until now. Santos claims he’s running for another term, although it seems unlikely he’ll get there. Past polling of residents of his district publicized by a local outlet called Newsday found over three-fourths of survey participants supporting the idea of Santos exiting office, and that was well before the criminal charges — which themselves could, in theory, otherwise occupy Santos if he’s found guilty and sentenced to jail. Republican leaders in the House including Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise have resisted taking particularly substantive action against Santos as he faces this case. He was already off his committees, but he remains otherwise able to participate in the legislative process.
Considering most Republican leaders remain with Trump even after a jury found him liable for sexual battery, would Republicans — the ones in party power, with involvement in fundraising and rallying public support — even oppose Santos running again after all?
Watch Kaplan’s announcement video below:
I'm not afraid of a tough fight. I flipped a red to blue seat in the New York state senate, and I will flip another seat to restore a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.
— Anna M. Kaplan (@AnnaMKaplan) May 11, 2023