WESTBURY, N.Y. -- Republican George Santos left the U.S. Capitol without saying a word as other members of the House from Congress on Friday.
Media surrounded the now-former congressman's office in Douglaston, Queens and wondered how long his name would remain on the awning.
"It's a sad chapter in the history of Nassau County and it's a sad chapter in our country's history, and now we have to move forward. We're going to, as I said, work expeditiously to nominate the best candidate who's got the best chance of winning," said Nassau Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs.
Despite Santos' ouster, the office remains open.
"Whatever was going on outside the door, inside here this work has to continue. People have all kinds of concerns, have all kinds of needs," said Mark Woolley, district director for New York's 3rd congressional district, which covers parts Nassau and Queens.
Joe Cairo, the Nassau Republican Committee chairman, said he started interviewing potential candidates for the special election to fill Santos' seat.
"We have 22 individuals who will be interviewed beginning this afternoon through Monday, Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. We will do an extensive research on them. We'll engage an outside firm and we'll come up with the best candidate, a candidate who gives us the best opportunity as Republicans to win and the candidate who will best serve the people of the 3rd congressional district," said Cairo.
Jacobs also started vetting Democrats for the race.
"We're going to have screening. We're going to listen to other candidates that are interested and then we're going to be making what I think is the appropriate choice," said Jacobs. "The announcement will probably be on Tuesday."
Names being bandied about include Republican State Sen. Jack Martins and Democrat Tom Suozzi, who did not run for reelection to the seat Santos ultimately won in 2022.
After the vote to expel Santos, there was a feeling of relief among leaders of the grassroots movement Concerned Citizens of NY-03.
"So thrilled that the nightmare is over, you have no idea. We've waited 11 months and it finally happened and I would be factual in saying that there are probably 700,000 people in the district doing the happy dance," said Marie Marsina.
Concerned Citizens of NY-03 is demanding an investigation into how and why Santos was elected in the first place and urging Congress to pass the Stop Another Non-Truthful Office Seeker Act, aka the "SANTOS Act."
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