How a Perfectly Normal New York Suburb Elected a Con Man

How a Perfectly Normal New York Suburb Elected a Con Man

By Steve Israel | The Atlantic | December 28, 2022

Democratic complacency, Republican extremism, and media decline helped George Santos take over my old congressional district.

How did George Santos, a Republican newly elected to New York’s Third Congressional District, on Long Island, get away with running for office with an almost completely fictitious résumé? The answer is a combination of Democratic complacency, Republican extremism, and media decline in a House district that I know intimately.

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It’s a shame for my old district. But it’s more than that for the country. This should be a warning. There were failures on multiple levels in this election, leading someone unfit for office to attain it through willful deception. The chief casualty of this election was the truth.


Steve Israel is a former Democratic congressman from New York and the former chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is the author of Big Guns.

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