The field of candidates looking to take down scandal-plagued Rep. George Santos in New York’s 3rd Congressional District continues to grow.
On Monday morning, Zak Malamed became the latest to throw his hat into the ring. The 29-year-old Democrat is a native of the district, which includes parts of Queens and Nassau Counties.
“There's been pretty much the same names popping up and running for office in this district for decades,” Malamed said in an interview with Spectrum News. “This district is ready for fresh leadership. And that's something that I believe — I know — I bring to the table here. I know what it's takes to defeat MAGA Republicans and MAGA extremism.”
Malamed co-founded the group The Next 50, which has provided financial support for young candidates in elections across the country. If elected, he says his top priorities would include investing in public education, upholding public safety and reining in high costs.
"There's been pretty much the same names popping up and running for office in this district for decades ... This district is ready for fresh leadership."— Kevin Frey (@KevinFreyTV) May 15, 2023
I chatted with Dem @zakmalamed as he joins the crowded field vying to unseat George Santos.
More: https://t.co/Stn6F2IFUS pic.twitter.com/tiIEuqA5kX
Last week, another candidate jumped into the race: Anna Kaplan. The Democrat and former state Senator was born in Iran and fled as a teenager.
“I’m running for Congress because George Santos is a disgrace, and the Republicans in Washington are a direct threat to women’s freedom and children’s safety,” Kaplan said in a video released by her campaign.
In the video, she touts her past work on issues like ghost guns, abortion rights and gay rights.
These new announcements come on top of what is already a sizeable field.
On the Democratic side, in addition to Kaplan and Malamed, Nassau County legislator Josh Lafazan has already declared his candidacy, as has St. John’s University professor Will Murphy, who is making his first run for office. Across the aisle, GOP challenger Kellen Curry, a veteran who later worked for JP Morgan, has announced a bid.
And the field could grow even more, with reports Robert Zimmerman, the Democrat who lost to Santos in 2022, and former Congressman Tom Suozzi are weighing bids of their own.
Santos, a Republican, has been under scrutiny since before arriving on Capitol Hill, with mounting questions about his campaign finances and fabrications in his biography.
Last week, the scandal entered a new chapter when Santos was indicted on 13 federal charges in the Eastern District of New York, including seven counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty and has refused calls by Democrats and even some Republicans in Congress to resign.
“It felt inevitable,” Malamed said of last weeks’ news. “It's not just a national embarrassment. It's an international embarrassment.”
President Joe Biden won New York’s 3rd district in 2020 by more than 8 percentage points. Given the scandal surrounding Santos, Democrats see the seat as a key pickup opportunity in 2024.