New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is sparking confusion online as some users on X believe a comment she made on social media indicated that she intends to fill the seat of expelled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., herself, and not hold a special election to fill the vacancy.
When Hochul posted her reaction to Santos’ expulsion on X at 11:14 a.m., she did not refer to an election, which led some users to infer that the governor would try to select Santos' replacement.
"I am prepared to undertake the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy in New York’s 3rd District. The people of Long Island deserve nothing less," Hochul wrote on X, with no mention of a special election.
The post was still live at the time of publication – more than three and a half hours later – and has nearly 800,000 views.
Santos was booted from Congress Friday morning following a damning House Ethics Committee investigation that found he had used "campaign funds for personal purposes" and "engaged in fraudulent conduct."
His expulsion means his seat in New York’s 3rd District is now vacant, and under Article I, Section 2, Clause 4 of the Constitution, the executive of the state must hold an election to fill the seat. Hochul has 10 days to schedule a special election, and it must take place 70 to 80 days later.
Fox News Digital reached out to Hochul’s office for clarification of the post, and a spokesperson wrote at 1 p.m. that she intends to hold a special election.
The spokesperson pointed to a press release on the governor’s website that is essentially the same as the post on X, with reference to the election included.
"I am prepared to undertake the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy in New York’s 3rd District by scheduling a special election. The people of Long Island and Queens deserve nothing less," the statement on the site reads.
The statement was posted to the governor’s website at 12:45 p.m., about 75 minutes after her post on X.
However, the post is still driving debate on X.
"The voters will decide who the next congress person will be. You have to call a special election," wrote one user.
"It clearly makes it sound like it's her decision on filling it, it doesn't mention a special election or issuing writs thereof at all," wrote another in response to a user.
Other users pointed out that Hochul may have been referring to her selecting the Democratic nominee in the special election.
Unlike normal races, there is no primary election for the seat, and Democratic and GOP party leaders will choose their candidates.
"The special election has no primary. Thus both parties nominate who they want to run," wrote another user. "Hence she has a say as to who will run on the Dem ticket."