14-term GOP Rep. Pete King declines reelection run

Cheryl Sanders
November 12, 2019

But King's district will be one of them, underscoring GOP vulnerability in suburban areas, spotlighted last week as suburban voters in Virginia and Kentucky flocked to Democratic candidates in elections for state offices.

Nineteen Republicans, including King, have announced their retirement from the House this year, as well as four Democrats.

"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", tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

King, now in his 14th term in Congress, has served since 1993 after he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. "The police were trying to bring him down as quickly as possible", King said on CNN. "If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, nearly definitely he would not have died".

He also questioned whether Garner couldn't breathe, saying, "the fact of the matter is, if you can't breathe, you can't talk".

King, while "in good health", decided with his wife that he'd like to spend more time with his children and grandchildren, he said in a statement.

New York State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy praised King and said, "We have every confidence we will retain this seat and continue the strong representation that Long Islanders deserve".

King, who has represented a Long Island district for more than 25 years, added that retirement "was not an easy decision". Some left to take positions in the administration, others lost their bid for re-election, and others said they are leaving politics entirely.

"This Schumer tweet is yet another reminder that the top Dem in the Senate doesn't give a damn about Islamophobia and is unfit to hold the title of Minority Leader", tweeted The Intercept's Medhi Hasan.

"He's fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and left a lasting mark on all 3", he said on Twitter.

The freshman congresswoman drew widespread condemnation when she dismissed the 9/11 terror attacks in a speech, referring to them as "some people did something".

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan group that tracks USA elections, had said the seat was likely to remain in Republican control, but King's retirement could put it in play next year. He won re-election in 2018 by only 6 percentage points after winning by 17 percentage points 2 years earlier.

Other reports by iNewsToday