New York GOP Rep. Peter King announces ‘it is time to end the weekly commute’

Statement to supporters cites bipartisanship and work for victims of 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., announced he will retire rather than seek a 15th term in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Peter T. King, a 14-term Republican from New York’s Long Island, announced Monday on Facebook he will not run for reelection.

“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,” King said in a post on Facebook.

A former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, King cited his work to secure health benefits for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Superstorm Sandy. He also said he was proud of “being consistently cited for bipartisanship.”

King was reelected in 2018 with 53 percent of the vote, and President Donald Trump carried the 2nd District by 9 percentage points in 2016. But with suburbs around the country trending away from the GOP, King was on the “retirement watch list” unveiled in February by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales has rated the race for New York’s 2nd District Likely Republican.

“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 said.

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.

King’s daughter, Erin, was a Hempstead Town Council member who had been seen as a potential successor to his seat. She announced in September that she would be moving because her husband’s job was relocated to North Carolina.

Democrats consider King's potential opponent, Babylon Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, a formidable candidate. An Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran, Gordon recently won the backing of influential Democratic groups, including EMILY's List, which supports women who back abortion rights, and End Citizens United, which supports candidates who back overhauling campaign finance laws.

Gordon ended the most recent fundraising quarter on Sept. 30 with $126,000 on hand, while King had nearly $1.1 million in his campaign account.

Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.

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