George Santos adresses reporters
US Congressman George Santos speaks to reproters as he leaves Federal Court on May 10, 2023 in Central Islip, New York. Michael M. Santiago/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA via AFP

Former U.S. Representative George Santos announced Tuesday that he is discontinuing his campaign to win an eastern Long Island House seat in Congress. This decision comes after his expulsion from the House of Representatives and battling several federal fraud charges.

The announcement follows reports from his campaign committee revealing no fundraising or expenditures in March, fueling speculation that his campaign had failed to take off.

Santos, who had been running as an independent candidate for New York's 1st Congressional District, disclosed his withdrawal from the race via a post on the social media platform X.

Santos, currently facing several felony charges, said that he opted to step back from the race to avoid potentially splitting the Republican vote for first-term GOP Representative Nick LaLota, and inadvertently bolster the eventual Democratic nominee in the 1st congressional district.

"Although Nick and I don't have the same voting record and I remain critical of his abysmal record, I don't want to split the ticket and be responsible for handing the house to Dems. Staying in this race all but guarantees a victory for the Dems in the race," he wrote.

In response, LaLota said: "Chat GPT translation: He's taking a plea deal."

In December, Santos faced expulsion from the House following a damning ethics committee report, which concluded that there was "overwhelming evidence" of wrongdoing and stated that he "cannot be trusted."

It marked only the sixth instance in the chamber's history of such a disciplinary action being taken by colleagues.

Following the expulsion, his former House seat, representing portions of Queens and Nassau County, underwent a significant political shift. In a special election held in February, Democrat Tom Suozzi succeeded in flipping the seat.

Despite the allegations, the former congressman has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to federal charges.

He faces a total of 23 charges, ranging from deceiving Congress about his financial status to embezzlement from his campaign and unlawfully obtaining unemployment benefits. A trial has been tentatively scheduled for later this year.

Despite the withdrawal announcement on X, Santos did not rule out seeking office in the future.

"The future holds countless possibilities and I am ready willing and able to step up to the plate and go fight for my country at anytime," he wrote.

"It's only goodbye for now. I'll be back."