In a move that was completely unanticipated by his colleagues in the House or fellow Republicans in New York, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., announced Monday morning he was stepping down in 2020.
In so doing, the former Homeland Security Committee chairman and 14-term lawmaker becomes the 23rd Republican lawmaker (20 House U.S. Representatives and three senators) to retire, resign, or seek another office next year.
In striking contrast, only eight congressional Democrats are saying "outta' here" in '20.
Almost immediately, speculation began over who would attempt to carry the ballot lines of the Republican and Conservative on which King had been elected and re-elected for 28 years.
At least four local office-holders are reportedly considering the race in the 2nd District (Nassau, Suffolk Counties), local sources told Newsmax.
Moreover, liberal Democrat and nationally known children's advocate Liuba Grechen Shirley told reporters she was "seriously" considering another race in the district where she held King to a career-low 53% of the vote.
Given the national Republican emphasis on recruiting conservative women to run for Congress, much of the early talk on the GOP side centers around Hempstead Town Clerk Kate Murray. A nationally known advocate for victims of domestic abuse, Murray, 57, is a past assemblywoman and town supervisor of Hempstead, N.Y. Sources say she would have little trouble acquiring the "Row C" ballot line of the New York Conservative Party, which has frequently provided the margin of victory for Republican hopefuls throughout the Empire State.
Murray's dilemma, the same sources say, is she has only won the clerk's office this year and a move to another office so soon might not be looked on kindly by voters.
Other Republican hopefuls include State Assemblymen Michael Fitzpatrick and Mike LiPetri, both of whom are considered conservative. Another prospective candidate is State Sen. Phil Boyle, considered not as conservative as the other two lawmakers. Boyle has lost previous bids for Suffolk County sheriff and the N.Y. State Supreme Court.
The 4th District that has been firmly in Republican hands for half-a-century. Having unseated far-left Rep. Al Lowenstein, D-N.Y., in 1970, Republican Norm Lent held the district with little difficulty until retiring in 1992 — when he was succeeded by his onetime intern and then-Nassau County Controller King.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.