Even after the scandalous exposure of former GOP freshman star George Santos, at least one Republican is daring to keep his party’s seat.
Kellen Curry, an Afghanistan war veteran and former Wall Street banker, said he had two reckoning moments that prompted him to run for New York’s third congressional seat: the disastrous pullout from Afghanistan and the revelations that Santos “totally betrayed the American public”. ‘
“I had an incredibly powerful experience there serving alongside my allies on this deployment and having teammates who sadly didn’t return home,” Curry told DailyMail.com in an interview.
“As I watched the catastrophic pullout – Afghans clinging from planes and the 13 Marines killed, I just felt that we deserve to have leaders in our national legislature who will show the service and sacrifice of myself and.” mirrored by so many others who have worn the ‘uniform.’
“Santos didn’t reflect that caliber.”
Santos was the first openly gay Republican member of the House of Representatives and one of four to flip a blue seat in New York’s own “red wave.” Now he’s the conference imposter, awaiting a 13-count federal indictment with up to 20 years in prison.
Kellen Curry, an Afghanistan war veteran and former Wall Street banker, said he had two moments of reckoning that led him to run for New York’s third congressional seat
“I had an incredibly powerful experience there serving alongside my allies on this deployment and having teammates who sadly didn’t return home,” Curry told DailyMail.com in an interview
Assigned to an Afghan military unit called the Special Mission Wing, Curry trained in offensive Taliban and ISIS-K operations the very pilots who quickly surrendered to the Taliban following the US withdrawal
When asked about the Santos lie that outraged him the most, Curry referenced the claim that Santos stole $3,000 he raised for life-saving surgery for a homeless Marine veteran’s dog suffering from cancer.
After Santos set up a GoFundMe, he allegedly never turned over the funds and the dog died.
While five on the Democratic side are already vying to run against Santos, Curry is the indicted congressman’s only Republican primary opponent.
Spokesman Kevin McCarthy said he will not support Santos’ re-election, nor will New York State and local parties.
As for the support he’s received, “a lot of people are certainly curious,” Curry said.
“I’ve had a number of good conversations both in DC and in the district and across the state,” he continued. ‘It is still early. I think people are right to want to make sure we do our homework this time around.”
Republicans in the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to bring a Democrat-led resolution to bar Santos back to the Ethics Committee — where an investigation could show a full vote in the House of Representatives is needed to bar the congressman.
The speaker vacillates between needing Santos’ voice in the tightly divided conference and accepting the damage Santos has done to the conference’s reputation.
Curry is the only Republican to face George Santos in a primary
Should Santos be excluded, his seat would be open until a special election could decide the winner. This district is categorized as a “lean Democrat” by the Cook Political Report.
“We believe I am the best candidate in this race and we would welcome Mr McCarthy’s support,” Curry said.
Raised at an Oklahoma Air Force base, Curry came to New York through a career on Wall Street as a banker at JP Morgan.
“I think a Republican can win this seat.” “It’s a 50/50 district, a Republican with the right message,” Curry said.
He said he believes his service and finance background would do well in the suburban borough of New York City — the fourth wealthiest borough in the country.
“Some voters here are excited about moving in and out of the city and working in financial services. And then there are some natural constituencies in the counties like the Merchant Marine Academy. Your alumni have been very supportive to date.
“Then it’s working with small businesses — when I was in the military, that’s what I did: I was a procurement and contract worker working with companies.”
Assigned to an Afghan military unit called the Special Mission Wing, Curry trained in offensive Taliban and ISIS-K operations the very pilots who quickly surrendered to the Taliban following the US withdrawal.
Curry insists the Biden administration ignored the advice of its top generals and instead followed the political winds.
“It was driven by domestic politics and not to get the American people to understand why it was important to keep a residual force, which was the recommendation of some of our generals.”
Curry said not all of the blame lies with Biden, as previous administrations have provided Afghans with technology too advanced for them to maintain alone.
“Afghans became too dependent on American forces, but the Biden administration should have realized that if we pulled out immediately, things would collapse the way they did.”
At the time, Biden expressed frustration that Afghan forces were falling as quickly as they were — stressing they did not want to fight — even though they had lost some 66,000 men over the course of 20 years of fighting.
“American troops cannot and should not fight in a war and die in a war because Afghan forces are not prepared to fight for themselves,” Biden said at the time. He also insisted he was tied to a Trump-era peace deal with the Taliban that promised the withdrawal of all troops.
“They are using the Trump years as an excuse for their own failure to look around corners, to move, to rise up and make decisions that go beyond domestic politics,” Curry said.
Curry is confident he can win his own race by “staying on the issues” and treating them locally after media coverage of Santos, the 34-year-old freshman whose endless lies stayed under the radar until then Choice.
“When I walk around the district, people are — they get the whole Santos thing and they’re kind of tired of talking about it.”
“Right now we have the most ineffective member of Congress,” Curry added.
“So what people want to hear is what affects them on a daily basis — we talk about things like reaching the gold standard or constituency services.” We talk about things like restoring funding to the Merchant Marine Academy so we can rebuild the campus . We talk about what federal funds we think we can use in our public schools to improve mental health care for our youth. “We’re talking about lowering the cost of living on Long Island.”
He said his goal is to restore confidence in politics.
“It’s about conveying to people that we have something to fight for.” “It’s getting so down and so cynical about our politics,” the candidate said.
“If you think about it, people are pouring across the border into this country to be a part of the American dream.” And so we still have something to fight for. “We still have a country worth saving.”
Curry and Santos will face off in a June 2024 primary — provided the current congressman can make it that long without being expelled.
On the left Zak Malamad, the founder of Next 50, a group that raises money for candidates under 50, Will Murphy, an attorney and professor who focuses on SALT deduction recovery and gun reform, Josh Lafazan, a Member of the Nassau County Legislature and Anna Kaplan, a former state senator, have announced all nominations in the county.