New York's Rep. King becomes 20th U.S. Republican to exit Congress
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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 Congress.
King, who has represented his New York district for 14 terms, said he would continue to serve through December 2020 and cited his family in announcing his retirement on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).
"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," he said in his social media post. "This was not an easy decision."
"I intend to remain in Seaford, be active politically and look forward to seeing what opportunities and challenges await me in this next chapter of a very fortunate life," he added.
A growing number of U.S. President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans, including a number of high-profile conservative lawmakers, have announced plans to leave the lower chamber after next year's election.
Democrats took control of the House in January after sweeping victories in the November 2018 U.S. elections, and have set their sights on reclaiming the White House as well as maintaining their hold on the House. Control of the Republican-led U.S. Senate is also up for grabs but seen as more difficult to flip.
Eight Democrats have also announced plans not to seek re-election for their House seats. Among those leaving the chamber, four Republicans and three Democrats have said they plan to seek other public offices.
King, in his statement, appeared to dismiss the notion that he could not win his seat for another term, saying: "my polling numbers are as strong as they have ever been and I have more than $1 million in campaign funds."
The New York Republican, whose district encompasses part of Long Island's southern shore, served on the House Homeland Security and Financial Services Committees.
Other House Republicans who have left or announced plans to leave Congress include Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee; Mike Conaway, the top Republican on the agriculture committee; and Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican in the House.