Washington mainstay Peter King, representing New York’s Second Congressional District, announced Monday that he will not seek a 15th term.
The Seaford Republican, long known for his independence on issues, as well as his sometimes caustic remarks, gave no reason for his retirement, except to say it was time to come home to Seaford.
The announcement followed on his daughter Erin King Sweeney’s decision last month not to seek re-election to his old seat on the Hempstead Town Board.
Though a Republican stalwart, King never balked throughout his long political career at voting against his party when he disagreed with its stance. During his three terms as Nassau County comptroller in the 1980s and early 1990s, he frequently sparred with then executives Francis Purcell and Thomas Gulotta, both Republicans, on budget matters. And he was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote against the 1998 impeachment of former president Bill Clinton.
Though a conservative on issues such as immigration, health care and abortion, King formed working bipartisan partnerships with moderate Democrats like Rep. Tom Suozzi, of Glen Cove — most recently, as they called for a tax on e-cigarettes as a means of limiting teen smoking and in their lobbying efforts to overturn the caps placed on SALT deductions contained in President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax package.
King was elected to Congress from New York’s Third District in 1992, after serving three terms as comptroller and one term as Town of Hempstead board member. He also ran unsuccessfully for New York state attorney general in 1986. He moved to the Second Congressional District in 2013, after reapportionment.
King said he will serve out the remainder of his term.