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NY Rep. Peter King Retiring            11/11 07:23

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Peter King, a moderate Republican who has 
represented a Long Island congressional district for nearly 30 years, announced 
Monday he won't seek reelection, presenting Democrats with a fresh suburban 
target as they defend their majority in 2020.

   The decision comes days after voters flocked to Democratic candidates in 
state elections in Kentucky and Virginia, underscoring Republican vulnerability 
in a suburban revolt against President Donald Trump.

   But in the latest indication that congressional Republicans are rallying 
behind Trump for now, King said he will oppose Democratic efforts to impeach 
Trump.

   "In the coming weeks and during the next year I intend to vote against 
President Trump 's impeachment and will support the President's bid for 
re-election," King said.

   The 14-term congressman, 75, said in a Facebook post that he's retiring 
because he wants "flexibility to spend more time" with his children and 
grandchildren "after 28 years of spending 4 days a week in Washington, D.C."

   King, a former chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has 
cultivated a reputation for bipartisanship while maintaining a hard line on 
immigration and crime. He is the longest-serving Republican member of New 
York's congressional delegation. Still, he won reelection in 2018 by just 6 
percentage points.

   His district includes southwestern Suffolk County and a portion of Nassau 
County, about an hour's drive east of Manhattan. It went narrowly for Trump in 
2016.

   Democrats seem certain to target the district in 2020. Many suburban 
districts around the country have been moving steadily toward Democrats as 
moderate, well-educated voters swing away from the polarizing president.

   Twenty House Republicans have announced they will not seek reelection. Three 
other GOP lawmakers have resigned and already left Congress.

   House Democrats retook the majority in 2018, and are looking to defend their 
majority and grab new seats in suburban districts in what they see as a 
backlash against Trump.

   Only a handful of the Republican-held districts being vacated by retirements 
are expected to be seriously competitive next year. 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. 


(KR)

 
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