Former New York State Senator Anna Kaplan (D) has just announced her campaign to unseat gay Rep. George Santos (R). In her announcement video, she says she’s running “because George Santos is a disgrace, and the Republicans in Washington are a direct threat to women’s freedom and children’s safety.”
The entire first minute of Kaplan’s announcement video recounts several of Santos’ scandals, including falsehoods about his Jewish identity and his grandparents dying in the Holocaust, his recent indictment on 13 federal criminal charges, his wearing of an assault rifle pin in the Capitol hours after a mass shooting, his past support of abortion bans, and his co-sponsoring of a bill to make a deadly assault rifle the “national gun of the United States.”
In the second half of Kaplan’s video, Kaplan notes that, as a young teen, she was forced to fly to the United States to flee anti-Semitic persecution under Iran’s then-Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.
“My parents had to make a difficult decision to put me on a plane to America, not knowing when they’d get to see me again,” Kaplan says. “I landed in New York and found a place where women had real rights and could control their own destinies.”
She then says that after the state of New York legalized gay marriage in 2011, a clerk in her town refused to oversee same-sex ceremonies. “As town councilwoman. I proudly stepped in and officiated some of the state’s first gay marriages,” Kaplan adds.
When she won state office in 2019, Kaplan’s election helped turn the state’s senate from Republican to Democrat. She also sponsored legislation that help codify abortion rights and trace homemade “ghost guns.”
Kaplan concludes her ad by mentioning the district where she lives. “We’ve spent 30 years here. We’ve raised our daughters. This district voted for Joe Biden in 2020. New York deserves better than George Santos. Together, we will defeat him.”
Kaplan is the fifth candidate to announce that they’re running for Santos’s seat in the November 5, 2024 general election. The other candidates are Joshua Lafazan (D), William Murphy (D), Kellen Curry (R), and Philip Grillo (R).
On Wednesday, Santos was arraigned for seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives, and one count of theft of public funds.
Since joining Congress, Santos has cosponsored a bill to roll back LGBTQ+ civil rights and one to ban LGBTQ+ books from schools. He has also made public statements against transgender people, referred to the LGBTQ+ community as the “radical rainbow mafia,” and he also said that LGBTQ+ families “create troubled individuals.”
The FBI and prosecutors in New York and Washington, D.C. have also been investigating Santos’s past false statements and possible campaign finance violations, CNN noted.