Longtime GOP Rep. Peter King Won’t Seek Reelection
WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter King, a 14-term Republican U.S. Representative from Long Island, New York, plans to retire from Congress at the end of his term, joining a growing list of Republicans who have decided to leave the House this year.
In a brief announcement, King, long considered one of the more moderate members of the GOP caucus, said he came to the “difficult decision” after speaking at length with his wife Rosemary, his son Sean and his daughter Erin.
He is the 20th House Republican to announce his retirement this year. By comparison, only eight Democrats have announced they will not seek reelection in 2020.
“The prime reason for my decision was that after 28 years of spending 4 days a week in Washington, D.C., it is time to end the weekly commute and be home in Seaford,” the former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee said, referring to his hometown on the South Shore of Long Island.
He said retirement will give him the flexibility to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, and cited his daughter’s recent move to North Carolina as a factor that “accelerated my thinking” about retirement.
King called his 28 years in Congress “an extraordinary experience – an experience I wouldn’t have even dared imagine when I was a kid growing up in Sunnyside [Queens, New York] or a college student loading and unloading trucks and freight cars at Manhattan’s West Side Railway Terminal.”
“Politically, I will miss the energy and dynamism of a re-election campaign especially since my polling numbers are as strong as they have ever been and I have more than $1 million in campaign funds,” he continued. “Governmentally I will miss fighting for the people of my district and America and will always be proud of my efforts for 9/11 victims and their families; protecting our citizens from terrorism and MS-13; leading the successful effort to recover from Superstorm Sandy; and being consistently cited for bipartisanship.”
In addition to these accomplishments, he pointed with pride to his working with President Clinton to achieve the Good Friday Agreement and end centuries of warfare in Ireland and Northern Ireland; and his consistently standing “with the brave men and women of law Enforcement.”
King said he intends to remain on Long Island and be politically active as he sees “what opportunities and challenges await me in this next chapter of a very fortunate life.”
He also said he intends to vote against President Donald Trump’s impeachment in the House and plans to support the president’s bid for re-election.
Shortly after King made his intentions known, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted, “Peter King stood head & shoulders above everyone else. He’s been principled & never let others push him away from his principles. He’s fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and left a lasting mark on all. I will miss him in Congress & value his friendship.”
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