Embattled Republican U.S. Rep. George Santos said he still plans to keep his seat in Congress in 2024, but now, he faces a third Republican challenger trying to block his bid for reelection — Air Force veteran and lawyer Greg Hach.
Hach will join fellow Republicans Mike Sapraicone, a retired New York Police Department detective, and Kellen Curry, a veteran, who later worked for JP Morgan in the primary election.
Santos, a freshman member of Congress, faced controversy since winning the election in November 2022. In May, federal prosecutors charged him with 13 felony counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and theft of public funds.
“This man stole millions from regular people in a Ponzi scheme,” Hach stated in his campaign video. “He made up stories about September 11, a mass shooting and the Holocaust to make people believe he is one of us. He is not one of us.”
Hach, a father of three, said he has never run for public office before, but believes his military background and experience in law make him the perfect candidate to unseat Santos.
“I’m running in the spirit of what our framers intended,” Hach said. “The framers intended your neighbor to run, they intended the firefighter down the street to run, the teacher down the block or the lawyer across the way. They didn’t intend on professional politicians, and that’s what we have.”
The 52-year-old grew up in Hicksville. His stepfather, Michael Hach, was a business manager of operating engineers, and labor union leader. Hach said he’s proud of being raised in a “strong union
home.” He has already garnered support from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1988 serving until 1991. He served abroad on the island of Crete, before returning home to complete his undergraduate education at John Jay College in criminal justice. Hach then went on to earn a law degree from Ohio Northern University’s Claude W. Pettit College of Law.
Months after Sept. 11, Hach co-founded Hach & Rose LLP and represented victims of the terrorist attacks at no cost. The experience changed Hach fundamentally, he said. The feeling of security that was present in the U.S. before the attacks had vanished.
“My biggest concern is that authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide,” Hach said. “We’re being weakened by our enemies who enter our country who’ve seen impunity. There was actually an 800 percent increase in Chinese immigration at the southern border.”
He said the U.S. is on track for another illegal border crossing record again this year and the U.S. shouldn’t to be a sanctuary for illegal immigrants who he believes threatens public safety.
Hach is also a vocal proponent of providing aid to Ukraine during their ongoing invasion from Russia, arguing that the U.S. needs to be more aggressive with countries like China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.
Hach took two trips to Ukraine after the Russian invasion to help interview refugees and identify war crimes by the Russian army. He said he wanted to make his own conclusions about the war, rather than just read about it in the news.
Safety is a top priority for Hach, who cited a poll from the Sienna College Research Institute, where findings indicated that three out of five New Yorkers believe that they will be a victim of a violent crime. He’s concerned with advocates who want to defund the police and get rid of cashless bail. Hach believes the “extreme shift to the left of the Democratic Party,” is a cause for concern to public safety.
“Sixty percent of our population are concerned about whether they’re going to be the victim of violent crime; that’s no way to live,” Hach said. “That’s no way to go to work, that’s no way to go to the store, without the security, we don’t have anything.”
If elected, Hach said he will also address the issues surrounding the economy. Under President Biden we have seen the highest levels of inflation since Jimmy Carter’s administration during the 1970s, he said. It’s Hach’s belief “hardworking families are forced to pay more for groceries and everyday necessities because of Joe Biden’s failed economic policies.”