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EXCLUSIVE: Only 4 constituents have donated to George Santos this year

He represents the wealthiest district in New York.


Katherine Huggins


Posted on Jul 18, 2023   Updated on Jul 23, 2023, 7:00 am CDT

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), the embattled freshman representative from New York, doesn’t appear to have much support among his own constituents.

According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports filed Friday, Santos has clocked only 26 unique individual donors in New York state since the beginning of the year.

That number drops even lower for the number of donors Santos has in his district.

This year, Santos has received contributions from just four of his constituents—all of which came in the second quarter of 2023.

This information comes from an analysis of Santos’ two most recent quarterly reports filed to the FEC. It includes all contributions linked to an address within New York’s third congressional district; it’s possible he received donations from constituents using a different address.

Those four in-district donors collectively gave $6,691 to Santos’ campaign, however, the vast majority of that sum—$6,615—came from just one of the four people.

Donors are required to list an address when making a contribution; those four people listed addresses in Carle Place, Great Neck, Massapequa, and Sea Cliff.

It’s not that Santos’ constituents wouldn’t have the funds to give, if they wanted.

New York’s third congressional district, which comprises part of the North Shore of Long Island, parts of northern Nassau County, and northeastern Queens, is the wealthiest district in the state and the fourth-wealthiest in the country, according to Forbes.

Santos did, however, receive some support from donors in neighboring districts on Long Island. Based on his July and April quarterly reports, of the 25 New York state donors, 14 (including the four in-district) came from Long Island or the Forest Hills area of Queens.

Since winning office, Santos has been racking up controversies and alienating constituents.

A January poll found that 78% of voters in his district said Santos should resign, including 71% of Republican voters surveyed.

That poll was conducted soon after Santos’ lies began to be widely reported. According to New York Magazine, his fabrications include lying to collect unemployment benefits, where he went to school, his experience allegedly working on Wall Street, how his mother died, having employees who died in the Pulse nightclub shooting, and more.

And last week, he drew another wave of criticism for comparing himself to civil rights icon Rosa Parks because Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told him to sit in the back seats in Congress at the State of the Union.

Santos’ lack of in-district financial backers also comes amid heightened scrutiny of his campaign finance.

He pleaded not guilty in May to federal charges related to allegations he stole from his campaign and duped donors. And he was accused by Rep. Beth Van Duyne’s (R-Texas) campaign of failing to share proceeds from a joint fundraiser the pair held in New York last year. 

Questions have also been raised about some of his donors’ ties to Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, who has far-right ties, and whether certain contributors exist or were able to legally contribute to a federal campaign.

More recently, Santos used $85,000 of the roughly $162,000 he raised in the second quarter of 2023 to repay himself. He previously reported giving his campaign over $700,000 in personal loans, though there remain questions about how Santos got that money to loan in the first place.

Santos is the only Long Island representative who isn’t out fundraising his challengers, Newsday reported.

In the second quarter of 2023, Santos was out-fundraised by three Democratic challengers to his seat, as well as one Republican candidate primarying him, Kellen Curry. 

According to the Cook Political Report’s nonpartisan House ratings, Santos’ seat currently “leans” Democrat.

While Santos has admitted to certain lies, he has vehemently rejected calls to step down despite political pressure, saying he’ll have to be voted out in 2024.

“If 142 people ask for me to resign, I’ll resign,” Santos told reporters in January. He later clarified that he meant 142,000 people.

Santos received just under 146,000 votes in 2022—about 20,000 more than Democrat Robert Zimmerman—the number he appears to have been referring to.

But now, the congressman’s dwindling support appears to have left only four constituents financially supporting him.

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*First Published: Jul 18, 2023, 12:01 pm CDT