When George Santos approached HuntingtonNow.com in 2019 for a story about his candidacy, we accepted his claims about college and work history. We regret the error of accepting his statements and not examining his claims.
At the time of the interview in November, 2019, we posted a brief story about this unknown candidate from Queens months ahead of the actual campaign season. During the interview, Santos seemed taken by all the flags flying on the lawn of Huntington Town Hall, which he later used as a backdrop for many of his campaign materials. He also used multiple names, to the point we had to ask his aides exactly what we were supposed to call him: George Santos, George A. Santos, George Anthony Devolder Santos, George Devolder-Santos. His campaign approached us in December 2019 for coverage of his statement about several anti-Semitic incidents.
Then 2020 came, with nonstop Covid-19 coverage, and we printed little else about a self-declared candidate not yet chosen by his party who would be up against a well-entrenched incumbent, Rep. Tom Suozzi (we also didn’t write much about Suozzi; again, Covid.)
In 2022, Huntington was taken out of the Third District and moved into the First, and that was the end of our conversations with him.
Meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting again on a Huntington connection to Santos.
The paper previously said that Santos and his husband were living in Huntington “…three neighbors said that they had seen Mr. Santos or his husband at the house in Huntington, in a hilly neighborhood full of well-kept, middle-class houses, some of which have been turned into rentals. One man who lived across the street said that Mr. Santos had moved in sometime in August,” the Times wrote.
On Thursday, the Times reported on a company called Cleaner 123, which it said was located in Huntington at the address listed as Santos’, ,and had been paid almost $11,000 as rent.
“Campaign disclosures, however, show that Mr. Santos paid Cleaner 123, which lists the house in Huntington as its address, nearly $11,000 in rent and a deposit. When reached by phone, a representative from Cleaner 123 confirmed that it was a cleaning company, but hung up before answering why it had received rent payments from Mr. Santos.”
The Times has been exploring Santos’ reported campaign expenditures, including $40,000 for airfare. That is just one element of the many details uncovered by the Times and other media publications that led Santos to admit earlier this week that statements he had made about his education and employment were not true. Other statements by Santos, such as a claim to Jewish heritage, African ancestry, marriage and divorce to a woman though he says he is gay, income and property ownership are under investigation.