After serving as a member of U.S. Representative for New York’s 2nd congressional district since 2013 and formerly the 3rd District since 1993, Peter King has decided not to run for election after 15 consecutive terms.
Republicans in Long Island’s 2nd district head to the polls in an interesting primary race to pick King’s successor for the November vote.
The district includes most of the North Shore of Long Island. It expands from northwestern Suffolk County, across northern Nassau County and into far northeastern Queens. Long Island communities in the district Include Manhasset, Huntington, Northport, Commack, Dix Hills, Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville, Syosset, Glen Cove, Roslyn, Port Washington, and Great Neck. Queens neighborhoods in the district include Little Neck, Whitestone, Glen Oaks, and Floral Park. King has repeatedly gotten elected in this and neighboring district 3 for 15 terms
King has always remained popular in the relatively Democratic district and tended to be a moderate Republican, who initially supported John Kasich for president before embracing Trump.
He made major headlines last during the 2016 election cycle when he said during an interview:
“I hate Ted Cruz, and I think I’ll take cyanide if he ever got the nomination. Now, having said that, I think you’re going to see Donald Trump scoring a big victory tonight. I have not endorsed Donald Trump. In fact, I actually voted by absentee ballot for John Kasich”
King is a Navy veteran and was known in the 1970’s for his support of the Irish Republican Army movement. King compared Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin, the political wing of the Irish republican movement, to George Washington, and asserted that the “British government is a murder machine”, Politico pointed out. Later in his career he downplayed his support for the IRA.
Andrew Garbarino, a Republican Assembly member on Long Island, is the favorite to win the primary on Tuesday
City and State reported that Garbarino was surprised when he ended up being one of the candidates. They reported:
He assumed that state Sen. Phil Boyle or Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi would be the more obvious choices to replace the seasoned and popular congressman. “I figured (it would be) one of these guys who have been around for a while – they’re both young, they’re in their 40s or 50s,” Garbarino told City & State recently. “They’ve got a base that’s been around longer than mine. They deserved it.”
Garbarino received the endorsement of King, the rest of New York’s Republican delegation in Congress and, most notably, the Suffolk and Nassau County Republican committees, His opponent, Mike LiPetri, the 29-year-old Assembly member for the district neighboring is largely considered an outsider, only has the endorsement of the NRA
City and State also reported: Nassau GOP Chair Joseph Cairo, called it a “shame” that LiPetri is forcing a primary by continuing to run despite not receiving party endorsements. But Garbarino is taking it personally. When LiPetri joined the Assembly, he took over Garbarino’s spot as ranking member on the Committee on Racing and Wagering, and Garbarino took the time to show the new kid the ropes. “I took him around and introduced him to everybody,” Garbarino said. “When he started his primary, it actually really upset a lot of people up there who were like, ‘You took this guy under your wings.”
This seems to be the most interesting of the NY Republican primaries on Tuesday, as many are focused on the Democratic primaries in Bronx and Brooklyn.