Republican Rep. Peter King, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly three decades, announced that he will be retiring before the 2020 election, adding to a growing number of GOP lawmakers who have announced that they will not be seeking re-election next year.
According to The Hill, the 75-year-old lawmaker has served in Congress for 28 years and currently sits on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Homeland Security, with him having chaired the latter twice.
King explained that his decision to leave office wasn’t one he made lightly, but that several family circumstances propelled him to hang up his proverbial hat.
“This was not an easy decision. But, there is a season for everything, and Rosemary and I decided that, especially since we are both in good health, it is time to have the flexibility to spend more time with our children and grandchildren,” King wrote in a social media statement.
He also indicated that he’s grown tired of the commute — a commute he’s taken a majority of his working weeks for 28 straight years.
“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.
As Vox reported, King is officially the 20th House Republican to announce retirement ahead of the 2020 election cycle.
A concern from some on the right is the possible consequence of a large number of Republicans vacating their seats: that their seats will be flipped to Democrats in 2020. But, as The Hill reported, of the Republicans who have announced their retirement so far, only a portion of those seats face a mounting Democratic challenge. The rest are all but guaranteed to remain conservative.
But, that doesn’t mean Democratic lawmakers aren’t ready to pounce on what’s seemingly an abundance of blue opportunities in 2020. Rep. Cheri Bustos of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had King on a watch list earlier this year, and indicated that her party plans on seizing the moment.
New York's 2nd Congressional District, where Rep. Peter King (R) isn't seeking re-election, includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island
— Greg Giroux (@greggiroux) November 11, 2019
“Congressman Peter King’s retirement, from a heavily suburban Long Island district, underlines just how serious Republicans’ problems are in swing districts across this country,” Bustos said in a Monday statement.
As of last month, GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy still looked at the upcoming election with high confidence, as he recently predicted Republicans will score massive wins across the country come November 2020, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. He all but dismissed the number of retiring Republicans, claiming that President Donald Trump’s popularity would be enough to help the GOP win back the House.