Long-time Congressman Peter King, a Republican from suburban New York, said Monday that he will be retiring at the end of his current term. The former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said he is tired of the weekly commute and wants to spend more time with his family, according to a statement released by his office.
King, who has been in office for 14 terms and is 75 years old, becomes the 20th sitting Republican to announce say that they will not be seeking re-election next year. He has been an outspoken supporter of the president during the current term.
.@RepPeteKing tells me he informed @realDonaldTrump in a call yesterday that he won’t seek re-election. King says the president “showed disappointment and asked me to reconsider.” But ultimately “understood” when King explained he feels “it’s time.”— Kristen Welker (@kwelkernbc) November 11, 2019
“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 the statement. “This was not an easy decision.”
“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 added.
NBC says that since Trump took office in 2017, 100 of the 241 Republicans who held seats in Congress are now gone. Some left to take positions in the administration, others lost their bid for re-election, and others said they are leaving politics entirely.
Peter King resigning.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 11, 2019
This district is rated as R+3 (i.e. competitive) but that masks a big shift from Obama winning 52-47 to Trump winning 53-44.
Trump’s strength in this part of Long Island a reminder that “the suburbs” contain multitudes. pic.twitter.com/5b6sdexEdA
The move was not entirely unexpected. Earlier this year, in a strategy memo obtained by CNN, Democrats put King at the top of a retirement watch list and announced plans to target his district next year in an effort to shore up their advantage in the House.
King represents a South Shore Long Island district that includes parts of Nassau County and Suffolk County. Republicans have lost ground in such suburban districts in the last two election cycles.