Prominent U.S. Representative Peter King on Monday said he will not seek re-election next year and will retire from Congress after his current term expires, marking the 20th House Republican to announce plans to leave.
From left to right, United States Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar, United States President Donald J. Trump, Representative Peter King, Republican of NY, and United States Vice President Mike Pence, walk down the steps of the United States Capitol following the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the United States Capitol March 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. "In the coming weeks and during the next year I intend to vote against President Trump 's impeachment and will support the President's bid for re-election".
King, 75, said he decided that while he and his wife were in good health, it was time to spend more time with children and grandchildren, including a daughter who recently moved to North Carolina.
He now has served as a member of the Homeland Security Committee, which he served as chair from 2005-2006 and again from 2011-2012, among other assignments. In a statement, Shirley said she was "seriously considering" another run for Congress, and national Democratic operatives believe they already have a top-tier recruit in Jackie Gordon, an Army Reserve veteran and Babylon town councilwoman.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also praised King as a "principled" lawmaker who "stood head and shoulders above everyone else". He added that King left a "lasting mark", on America, Long Island and his Irish heritage, which he "fiercely loved". Donald Trump won the district by 9 points in 2016 but President Barack Obama won the district in 2012 and 2008.
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King in 2011 chaired hearings that looked into whether Muslims in the USA have been radicalized.
She tweeted, "Peter King is an Islamophobe who held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims, said "there are too many mosques in this country" and blamed Eric Garner for his own death at the hands of police".
King will serve out the rest of his term until his replacement in sworn into office in January 2021. He also opposed the 2017 GOP tax overhaul bill, which cut back a federal deduction for state and local taxes that was a big benefit to King's highly-taxed constituents.
Democrats seem certain to target the district in 2020. But that trend - while troubling in many statewide races and for the presidential landscape - poses less of an existential threat to the Democratic House majority, which counts only a handful of rural-district members in its ranks.
Pete King won't seek reelection, he announced Monday in an early-morning Facebook post.