If Rep. George Santos gets expelled from Congress, how will his replacement be chosen?

Rep. George Santos, the beleaguered Republican who represents New York’s 3rd Congressional District, may face expulsion from Congress as soon as this week over suspected ethics violations and other allegations of wrongdoing.

Santos has steadfastly defended himself, including by labeling a scathing report from congressional investigators as a “smear.”

In a defiant speech on Tuesday night, he said, “Are we to now assume that one is no longer innocent until proven guilty and they are, in fact, guilty until proven innocent?”

Two previous attempts to expel Santos failed, but a third motion to remove him must be voted on within the coming days.

If he does get kicked out of Congress, who will replace him? That will depend on who wins a special election for his swing seat.

Rep. George Santos walks into the House Republican cloakroom at the Capitol, Nov. 28, 2023.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, would have to call a special election within 10 days of Santos’ expulsion, according to state law.

That election would occur within 70 to 80 days of Hochul calling it, and she would not be able to appoint someone to the seat before then. An empty seat would weaken Republicans’ already narrow majority in the



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