STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN PETE KING ANNOUNCING HE WILL NOT RUN FOR SENATE IN 2010.
I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2010, nor will I run for any other statewide office. Instead I will proudly seek reelection to my tenth term as Congressman representing the people of the 3rd Congressional District of New York.
I reached this decision after months of deliberation and conversations with family members and friends and advisors thought the state.
I’m not trying to kid anyone. I wanted to be able to run for the Senate. I strongly believe that New York’s Republicans, Independents and Reagan Democrats deserve to be represented by a United States Senator who shares their neighborhood values and beliefs and does not cave in to political correctness or the liberal media.
The reality is that a statewide Democratic candidate starts the race with a voter registration edge of almost 3 million. To overcome such a large margin, there would have to be intensive media coverage of the race and I would need to raise at least $30 million.
That is why I would have run if Caroline Kennedy were the Democratic candidate. Her candidacy would have generated the media coverage and financial contributions necessary for me to run a competitive race. That’s all I would have hoped for. Once the race became competitive, it would have been up to me to win it by contrasting my blue collar conservatism with her Manhattan liberalism.
That race was not to be. Senator Gillibrand generates neither strong support nor opposition. This makes it virtually impossible for me to raise the campaign funds I would need to overcome the built-in Democratic registration advantage and the countless millions of dollars which the Democrats will make available to Senator Gillibrand. Without heavy financing, my campaign against her would likely receive little coverage and more resemble shadow boxing than a statewide clash of ideas.
I expect 2010 to be a Republican year and a well-financed candidate could well defeat Senator Gillibrand. I will not be that candidate. My job is to continue to do all that I can to represent the 3rd Congressional District.
As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee and a member of the Intelligence Committee and the Financial Services Committee, I will continue my efforts to protect New York and Long Island from Islamic terrorism and support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. I will also continue to oppose President Obama’s misguided schemes to:
- close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo,
- conduct criminal investigations of CIA agents who protected our nation, and
- foist a costly, ineffective European style health care system upon the American people.
The stakes are high and the issues are huge. I look forward to continuing to fight the good fight in the public arena.