Peter T. King

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Peter T. King
Peter T. King, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from New York
Assumed office
January 3, 1993
Preceded by Robert J. Mrazek
Constituency 3rd district (1993–2013)
2nd district (2013–present)
Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Bennie Thompson
Succeeded by Michael McCaul
In office
August 2, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Christopher Cox
Succeeded by Bennie Thompson
Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Bennie Thompson
Succeeded by Bennie Thompson
Comptroller of Nassau County
In office
January 1, 1982 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Hallstead Christ
Succeeded by Alan Gurein
Personal details
Born Peter Thomas King
(1944-04-05) April 5, 1944 (age 74)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Rosemary Wiedl
Children 2
Education St. Francis College (BA)
University of Notre Dame (JD)
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch Army National Guard
Years of service 1968–1974
Rank E-5 - SPC5.PNG Specialist 5[1]
Unit 69th Infantry Regiment (New York)

Peter Thomas King (born April 5, 1944) is an American politician and current U.S. Representative for New York's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party and represents the South Shore Long Island district that includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

King was formerly chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he drew attention in early 2011 for holding hearings on the extent of radicalization of American Muslims. He sits on the Financial Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He stepped down as Homeland Security Chairman because of Republican conference term limits. He remains a member of the committee.[2]

Early life, education, and career[edit]

King was born in the New York City borough of Manhattan and raised in the Sunnyside neighborhood in nearby Queens. He is the son of Peter E. King, a New York City police officer, and Ethel M. King (née Gittins).[3] His paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants from the island of Inishbofin in County Galway. His maternal grandfather was Welsh, and his maternal grandmother was also Irish, from County Limerick.[4]

He graduated from St. Francis College (1965) with a B.A. in Political Science, and earned his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in Indiana (1968). That same year, he began service in the 165th Infantry Regiment of the New York Army National Guard. He worked for the Nassau County District Attorney's Office until 1974, when he was honorably discharged from the 165th Infantry Regiment.[5]

In 2013, St. John's University honored King with a Doctor of Laws degree, and he gave their commencement address. He was part of a few recognized that year for their service to New York City following Hurricane Sandy.[6] During his speech, several students stood and turned their backs in protest to his anti-Muslim and conservative stances.

Early political career[edit]

King first sought public office in 1977, running for an at-large seat on the Hempstead, New York Town Council and winning with the backing of the then-powerful Nassau County Republican Party machine led by Joseph Margiotta. In 1981, he successfully ran for Nassau County Comptroller again with Margiotta's support. The next year, when several prominent Republican politicians, led by then Senator Alfonse D'Amato, sought to displace Margiotta, King joined them in this internal Republican dispute; at one point, he was the only Nassau politician to do so.[7] King was re-elected in 1985 and 1989. As Comptroller, he displayed independence, often criticizing the budget proposals of County Executives Francis Purcell and later County Executive Thomas Gulotta, both Republicans.[8]

During the 1990s King enjoyed a close relationship with the Muslim community in his congressional district. King often gave speeches at the Westbury Islamic Center, held book signings in the prayer hall, took in Muslim interns, and was one of the few Republicans who supported U.S. intervention in the 1990s to help Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo. The Muslim community thanked King for his work by making him the guest of honor for the 1993 opening of a $3 million prayer hall. For years, a picture of King cutting the ceremonial ribbon hung on the bulletin board by the mosque's entrance.[9]

Political positions and statements[edit]

King at the LBJ Library in 2015

King voted for the 2008 Wall Street bailout, saying it was "necessary for the financial health of New York and his district."[10] He opposed the 2009 economic stimulus package[11] and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.[12] In 2008, he opposed efforts to ban congressional earmarks. He was endorsed by the Brady Campaign in 2006 and 2008. He has been a vocal opponent of illegal immigration. He opposed John McCain's 2007 effort to enact a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants.[10]

Although he supported McCain for president in 2000 and despite his earlier disagreements with George W. Bush,[13][14] King later became a Bush supporter.[10] King also opposed McCain's calls for an end to coercive interrogation methods used with suspected terrorists. The New York Times wrote in 2006 that King had been "the Patriot Act's most fervent fan."[15] In 2008, he told the Times, "Look, we have not been attacked in seven years and it's not because of luck."[10]

He supported the Iraq War from 2002 on.[10] King supported President Obama's order to kill Osama bin Laden, saying that he knew it was a "tough decision" to make in the situation room. He also approved of Obama's surprise trip to Afghanistan in May 2012.[16]

King opposed former President Barack Obama's executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[17] Since 2009 King has argued against holding terrorist trials in New York City saying that enormous security risks and financial costs would accompany the public trials. In April 2011, he called for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign due to Holder's plans to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged co-conspirators in the September 11, 2001 attacks from Guantanamo to New York City for trials in U.S. federal court. King denounced Holder's plan "as the most irresponsible decision ever made by any attorney general."[18]

King continued to challenge Holder in April 2011, demanding to know why the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), its co-founder Omar Ahmad, the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust. and other unindicted "co-conspirators" in the Holy Land Foundation "terrorism financing" trial, were not being prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice. In a letter to Holder, King wrote he had recently learned that the decision had been made by high-ranking Justice Department officials "over the vehement and stated objections of special agents and supervisors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Dallas", adding that "there should be full transparency into the Department's decision."[19] Holder responded that the decision not to prosecute had been made during the Bush administration. The U.S. Attorney in Dallas said he alone had been responsible for the decision, which had been made based on an analysis of the law and the evidence, with no political pressure involved.[20]

In December 2009, King commented on reports that accused attempted airline bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had admitted to being trained and equipped in Yemen and on then pending plans to release several Guantanamo prisoners to Yemen: "I don't think Guantanamo should be closed, but if we're going to close it I don't believe we should be sending people to Yemen where prisoners have managed to escape in the past .... Obviously, if [Abdulmutallab] did get training and direction from Yemen, it just adds to what is already a dangerous situation", he said.[21]

King criticized the activities of WikiLeaks and in December 2010 suggested that the group be designated a "terrorist organization" and treated as such by U.S. agencies.[22] In 2011, King became a co-sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).[23] He praised President Barack Obama's nominations of Leon Panetta for United States Secretary of Defense and General David Petraeus for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency saying, "Director Panetta has done an outstanding job at the CIA, and General Petraeus has distinguished himself as one of the great American military leaders. Both men ... will be instrumental as we continue to combat the terrorist threat."[24] In September 2015, King stated that the decision of John Boehner to resign as Speaker was "a victory for the crazies".[25]

King was ranked as the most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[26][27]

2017 "Trump Care" votes[edit]

On May 4, 2017, King voted in favor of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and passing the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare).[28][29]

Support for the IRA[edit]

King began actively supporting the Irish republican movement in the late 1970s. He frequently traveled to Northern Ireland to meet with senior members of the paramilitary group, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), many of whom he counted as friends.[13][30] 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".[31] However, he apparently did not meet Adams until 1984.[32]

King became involved with Irish Northern Aid (NORAID), an organization that the British, Irish and U.S. governments had accused of financing IRA activities and providing them with weapons.[13][33][34][35] Regarding the 30 years of violence during which the IRA killed over 1,700 people, King said, "If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it."[36]

He also called the IRA "the legitimate voice of occupied Ireland".[37] Speaking at a pro-IRA rally in 1982 in Nassau County, New York, King pledged support to "those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry."[13][38] In 1985, the Irish government boycotted New York's annual St. Patrick's Day celebrations in protest at King serving as Grand Marshal of the event; the Irish government condemned him as an "avowed" supporter of "IRA terrorism".[39] At the parade he again offered words of support for the IRA.[40]

During the murder trial of an IRA member in the 1980s, a judge in Northern Ireland ejected King from the courtroom, describing King as "an obvious collaborator with the IRA".[13][41]

In 1993, King lobbied unsuccessfully for Gerry Adams to be a guest at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.[40] In 2000, he called then-presidential candidate George W. Bush a tool of "anti-Catholic bigoted forces", after Bush visited Bob Jones University in South Carolina, described by King as "an institution that is notorious in Ireland for awarding an honorary doctorate to Northern Ireland's tempestuous Protestant leader, Ian Paisley."[13] King was a go-between during the Northern Ireland peace process,[42] and has said the IRA was a "legitimate force that had to be recognized" to have peace.[43]

In 2002, King denounced Congressional investigation of the IRA-FARC links in the Colombia Three case.[44][45]

During the 1980s and 1990s, the NSA and CIA collected intelligence on financial transactions between the United States and Ireland and Northern Ireland involving Irish terrorist groups supported by King. NORAID funneled money to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that was used to buy weapons used to blow up civilians and members of the British government, military and police. King was an active supporter of NORAID, a tax-exempt front for the IRA. Martin Galvin, King's friend and former NORAID chief, rejected the Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement and supports the agenda of the "Real IRA" (RIRA).

During the 1980s, NSA's British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intercepted a number of King's phone calls from the United States and from within Britain, in which his political and financial support for the IRA was discussed. GCHQ relied on Canada's Communications Security Establishment (CSE) to monitor King's domestic phone calls in New York and Long Island since U.S. law, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FIS) prohibited the surveillance of King by NSA assets. King's financial and political support for the IRA coincided with the terrorist group's alliances with Palestinians, Lebanese, Latin American, Basque, Corsican, German, and Breton terrorist groups and the Libyan government of Muammar el Qaddafi. NSA signals intelligence (SIGINT) intercepts demonstrate that Libya and Lebanese terrorist groups targeted Americans in terrorist attacks during the 1980s, while King supported their Irish compatriots with money and weapons.[46]

Although disgruntled by near unanimous Irish nationalist/republican opposition to the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq,[13] King nonetheless supported bail in 2008 for an Irish republican Maze escapee, Pól Brennan, who had escaped from prison in Northern Ireland in 1983. Brennan was later deported to the Republic of Ireland in April 2009.[47][48] In a 2005 interview King said he had "cooled on Ireland", blaming an epidemic of what he called "knee-jerk anti-Americanism" that swept through Ireland after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. "I don't buy that it's just anti-Bush. There's a certain unpleasant trait that the Irish have, and it's begrudgery ... and resentment towards the Americans."[49]

King, who often used to visit Belfast twice a year, has not visited Ireland since shortly before the September 11 attacks.[49] He said he had turned down an offer from the Obama administration to be the US ambassador to Ireland in 2009.[50] At a September 2011 hearing in England concerning terrorism, King said the IRA used British torture as a recruiting tool,[clarification needed] but that it has no parallels with American treatment of suspects after 9/11.[citation needed]

In 2011, King said that his ties to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had been "entirely distorted", arguing that if the accusations were true then "I doubt the president of the United States would have offered me the position of ambassador to Ireland."[51]

Comments about American mosques[edit]

President George W. Bush shakes hands with Congressman Peter King, chairman of the United States House Committee on Homeland Security, after signing H.R. 4954, the SAFE Port Act

In 2004, King claimed in an interview with conservative talk radio host Sean Hannity that "no American Muslim leaders are cooperating in the war on terror," and that "80-85 percent of mosques in this country are controlled by Islamic fundamentalists .... This is an enemy living amongst us."[52] The Council on American-Islamic Relations denounced the comments as "Islamophobic bigotry" and Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe called on President George W. Bush to "condemn this latest example of hate-filled language."[52] In a September 2007 interview with the website, King said "There are too many mosques in this country... There are too many people sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully and finding out how we can infiltrate them."[53] King later said he meant to say that too many mosques in the United States do not cooperate with law enforcement.[54]

Radicalization hearings[edit]

King in 2007

In December 2010, King announced that, when he became Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, he would hold hearings on the alleged radicalization of some American Muslims. While allowing that, "The overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding citizens," he claimed some Islamic clerics were telling their congregations to ignore extremism and to refrain from helping government investigators.[55] King cited Justice Department statistics showing that, over the previous two years, 50 U.S. citizens had been charged with major acts of terrorism and that all were motivated by radical Islamic ideologies.[9]

The first hearing, held on March 10, 2011, was entitled "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." The hearing included testimony from Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is one of two Muslims in the U.S. Congress, Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), and Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca.[citation needed]

Others to provide testimony included Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser, a secular Muslim and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy; Melvin Bledsoe, whose son Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert, is serving a life sentence for killing a soldier and wounding another in the 2009 Little Rock recruiting office shooting;[56][57] and Abdirizak Bihi, the Director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center.[58] The Council on American Islamic Relations submitted a statement to the committee.[59]

In an article for the National Review, King announced that his second and third Homeland Security Committee hearings on radicalization would focus on foreign money coming into American mosques and al Shabab's efforts to recruit young Muslim men in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The second hearing was set for mid-May while the third was tentatively scheduled for July. King stated he would continue to hold radicalization hearings as long as he is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.[60]


Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, responded by saying that "none of these law enforcement and intelligence officials have backed King's assertions that the Muslim community has not been helpful in thwarting terrorist attacks."[61] Thompson wrote King, demanding that the scope of the hearings be widened to include all extremist groups in the United States, irrespective of ideology or religion.[62]

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said there was nothing to support King's claims of non-cooperation by American Muslims, and invited King to Los Angeles to show the reported cooperation between Muslim-Americans and federal law enforcement.[63] The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), in a letter to King, claimed that his call was sweeping and misguided and called for a meeting with him to discuss his initiatives, the proposed hearings, and the efforts of the Muslim American community to fight radicalization.[64]

The Council on American Islamic Relations joined fifty other activist and Human Rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the Sikh Coalition, the Japanese American Citizens League and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee in signing a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), comparing the hearings to those held by Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s and calling them "divisive and wrong", and "an affront to fundamental [American] freedoms"[65][66]

Seema Jilani, a freelance journalist writing an opinion piece in The Guardian, described King as "America's new McCarthy", who was instigating "a bigoted witchhunt."[67]

Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the conservative religious organization American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which opposed the building of the Park51 Community Center,[68] declared his support for King and the hearings and remarked, "This hearing isn't about profiling — it's about protecting our homeland."[69]

Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the American Center for Security Policy, praised King for holding a hearing "about an issue that has long been deemed politically untouchable" and opined that King had indeed shown there is "a problem of 'extremism' within the American Muslim community."[70] Several members of Congress, including Representatives Mike Rogers and Joe Walsh, wrote letters of support for King's hearings. Rogers wrote that radicalization could happen anywhere in the United States, and thus it is an issue all Americans have to deal with.[71] Walsh added that "Homegrown terrorists are the number one threat facing American families right now, and it would be irresponsible and negligent not to try and identify the causes of their radicalization."[72]

Comments about Michael Jackson[edit]

On July 5, 2009, shortly after the death of Michael Jackson, King made a video statement chiding the media for its coverage of Jackson's death:

Let's knock out the psychobabble. He was a pervert, a child molester, he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we're too politically correct. No one wants to stand up and say we don't need Michael Jackson. He died, he had some talent, fine. There's men and women dying every day in Afghanistan. Let's give them the credit they deserve.[73][74]

Due to the high-profile nature of Jackson's death, King's statement generated national media coverage. In reaction to the controversy, King said, "I believe I'm articulating the views of a great majority of the American people".[75]

Comments about the Occupy Wall Street movement[edit]

On October 7, 2011, King commented on the Occupy Wall Street movement:

We have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy. I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can't allow that to happen.[76][77]

Comments about Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and NSA spying on Americans[edit]

On Tuesday, June 11, 2013, King stated that not only should Edward Snowden be punished for releasing information to the American public that Verizon customers were being spied on, but so should the journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras for publishing Snowden's classified documents. On June 12, 2013, on Fox News King once again called for prosecution of Greenwald, alleging that the journalist was said to be in possession of names of CIA agents around the world and would be "threatening to disclose" them. Via Twitter, Greenwald immediately refuted King's claim and called it a "blatant lie".[78]


King and Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) asked Congress on March 11, 2015 to make anthrax vaccines that are about to expire and otherwise would be disposed of available to emergency responders. They made their request in a letter to fellow members of Congress shortly after King introduced the bill (H.R. 1300)[79] on March 4, 2015.[80] King previously introduced the bill in September 2014, but it was not enacted.[81]

2016 U.S. presidential election[edit]

On April 19, 2016, King stated that he would take cyanide, should Ted Cruz ever win the Republican nomination for president, stating:

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.[82][83]

King went on to state that if Donald Trump received the nomination for president, that he would need to "get more substance" to "learn what he's talking about", and to quit "making reckless charges".[82][83]

National security[edit]

King supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to temporarily curtail immigration to the United States from some Muslim-majority countries until better screening methods are devised. He stated that "I don't think the Constitution applies to people coming in from outside the country, especially if there is a logical basis for it."[84]

King suggested in 2014 that "foreign policy was not a major issue" for President Obama, as he had worn a light tan suit in August in Washington the day before. He also said that "There's no way any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday" in reference to wearing the light tan suit as he addressed the media.[85]

He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership.[86]

House Intel Committee[edit]

King has been a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence since 2011. In 2018 he voted to release the Nunes memo[87] written by Committee staff at the request of Republican Committee Chairman U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, over the objections of senior FBI leaders and all Democratic members of the committee.[88] The memo states that the FBI "may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources" to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page in October 2016, and in three subsequent renewals, during the early phases of the FBI's investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.

At the time President Trump asserted that the memo discredited the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[89] The FBI was asserted that "material omissions of fact...fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."[90]


King voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, one of five Republican representatives from New York to do so.[91] He voted against it due to the $10,000 cap the bill would impose on the deductibility of state, local and property taxes and the impact that would have in New York, a high-tax state.[92] Upon the possibility of a second round of cuts, King reiterated he would be "forced to oppose" more tax cuts if legislation included a provision "permanently extending the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction".[93]

LGBT rights[edit]

King has a score of 4 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his voting record on LGBT rights issues.[94] King does not support same-sex marriage and opposed the Supreme Court taking on the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case.[95]


King is pro-gun control. He cites his support of gun control based on his experiences in New York, "Virtually every time there's a murder in New York, the gun tracked comes from another state," he states, expressing that without stricter gun control, people in New York will get killed.[96]

King supports banning individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.[97] He also supports the banning of bump stocks, in the wake of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. He describes the banning of bump stocks as being "morally, legally, and common sense-wise the right thing to do."[98]

He supports expanding background checks for commercial gun sales, including at gun shows, so much so that he co-sponsored a bipartisan bill with Mike Thompson to do so in 2013.[96]

Mass shootings[edit]

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, King posted on Facebook that it was a "vicious Islamic terrorist attack." He stated that the "Islamic threat to the United States is greater than at any time since 9/11." He proceeded to then critique "leftwing editors at the New York Times' and the "liberal ideologies" of the ACLU, stating that both the newspaper and organization were attempting to "intimidate" the Trump administration.[99]


King has a "C" rating from NORML regarding his voting record on cannabis-related matters. He has twice voted against providing veterans access to medical marijuana via the Veterans Health Administration.[100]

U.S. national anthem protests[edit]

On May 26, 2018, responding to the NY Jets owner supporting NFL players' right to peacefully protest by kneeling during the national anthem, King likened the protest to that of "Nazi salutes".[101][102]

Committee assignments[edit]

King's committee assignments for the 113th United States Congress are:

King is a member of the House Baltic Caucus[103] and the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus.[104]

Political campaigns[edit]

1986 NYS Republican ticket[edit]

1992 to 2008[edit]

When Democratic Party congressman Robert Mrazek announced his short-lived candidacy for the Senate against Republican incumbent Alphonse D'Amato in 1992, King ran for the then vacant 3rd Congressional District seat. Despite being outspent 5-to-1,[105] King won 49.6% to 46.5%. From 1993–2008, he sometimes faced only token opposition,[106] while in other races, he ran against those who could self-finance their campaigns. Although King was outspent in those races, he would ultimately win by double-digit margins.[107]

In 2006, originally Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg intended to run against King. When he dropped out shortly after his announcement, fellow legislator Dave Mejias ran instead. While some pundits believed this race would be close due to dissatisfaction with Bush,[108] King defeated Mejias 56% to 44%. King again sought re-election to Congress in 2008. The Democrats fielded 25-year-old newcomer Graham Long in a long-shot bid to defeat King.[109] King won the 2008 election with 64% of the vote.[citation needed]

Speculation of a 2010 Senate campaign[edit]

After briefly contemplating running for Governor of New York in 2010,[110] King announced that he was seriously thinking of running for the U.S. Senate in a special election for the last two years of the term won in 2006 by Hillary Clinton, who had since been appointed Secretary of State.[111]

King had contemplated running for Senate in 2000 against Hillary Clinton,[112] and even created an exploratory committee in 2003 to challenge Chuck Schumer.[113] On both occasions he ultimately decided not to pursue the challenge. He said there would be no primary with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as the latter would instead opt to throw his support behind King and possibly explore a gubernatorial bid.[114]

When Kirsten Gillibrand, the representative of New York's 20th congressional district, was appointed to fill the seat until the special election by Governor David Paterson, King said he would consider holding off on making a run for the seat: "If he appointed Caroline Kennedy, I was ready to file papers right away because she's a superstar and you can't let her build a head of steam – and she was totally unqualified in my perspective. With Kirsten, she's entitled to be given an opportunity to build a record for the state."[115] However, two days after the Gillibrand pick, King demanded Paterson justify his selection of the congresswoman, saying there were more qualified candidates.[116] In August 2009, King ruled out a senate run; however, in January 2010, he said he was reconsidering a run.[117] King ultimately decided to run for re-election for congress, which he won with 72% of the vote.[118]

2016 presidential campaign[edit]

King at 2015 FITN (First in the Nation) Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire

During a 2013 radio interview in New Hampshire, King said that he was in the state "because right now I'm running for President," for the 2016 election.[119] However, during a March 2014 CNN interview, King said he was considering running, not actively running.[120] In a July 2015 interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, King announced he would not be running for president.[121]

King had earlier characterized a potential candidacy as being opposed to potential Tea Party movement candidates such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, whom he criticized for their national defense policies, calling them "isolationists who barely mention the threat of Islamic terrorism."[122] He later opposed Republican efforts to tie the repeal of delay of the Affordable Care Act to a continuing resolution before and during the 2013 government shutdown.[123][124]

Electoral history[edit]

Third party candidates omitted, so percentages may not add up to 100%.

Year Candidate Votes %
1992 Peter T. King (R) 124,727 50%
Steve Orlins (D) 116,915 46%
1994 Peter T. King (R) 115,236 59%
Norma Grill (D) 77,774 40%
1996 Peter T. King (R) 127,972 55%
Dal LaMagna (D) 97,518 42%
1998 Peter T. King (R) 117,258 64%
Kevin Langberg (D) 63,628 35%
2000 Peter T. King (R) 143,126 60%
Dal LaMagna (D) 95,787 40%
2002 Peter T. King (R) 121,537 72%
Stuart Finz (D) 46,022 27%
2004 Peter T. King (R) 171,259 63%
Blair Mathies (D) 100,737 37%
2006 Peter T. King (R) 101,787 56%
David Mejias (D) 79,843 44%
2008 Peter T. King (R) 135,648 64%
Graham Long (D) 76,918 35%
2010 Peter T. King (R) 126,142 72%
Howard Kudler (D) 48,963 28%
2012 Peter T. King (R) 142,309 59%
Vivianne Falcone (D) 100,545 41%
2014 Peter T. King (R) 91,701 65%
Patricia Maher (D) 40,009 28%
2016[125] Peter T. King (R) 181,506 57%
Du Wayne Gregory (D) 110,938 35%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier" (PDF). Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Rep. King To Step Down As House Homeland Security Committee Chair". NY1. Archived from the original on May 16, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ethel M. King Obituary: View Ethel King's Obituary by Newsday". October 18, 2007. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Peter T. King profile". NYU Ireland House Oral History Collection. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Peter King Biodata". Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  6. ^ "St. John's 143rd Commencement Exercises Honor Hurricane Sandy Responders". Retrieved 2017-05-29. 
  7. ^ "Dissent in Nassau G.O.P". New York Times. October 3, 1982.  ; for Margiotta running a machine, see Scott, Ruth K.; Hrebenar, Ronald J. (1984). "Parties in crisis: party politics in America". p. 123. 
  8. ^ Newsday, April 10, 1983, Nassau Budget Watchers Begin to See Red
  9. ^ a b Wan, William (January 24, 2011). "N.Y. Muslims fear congressman's hearings could inflame Islamophobia". Washington Post. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Epstein, Reid (October 26, 2008). "King, lone LI Republican, stands firmly with Bush". Newsday. Newsday. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  11. ^ "WINNERS & LOSERS Stimulus Edition". Crain's New York. February 1, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 37". US House of Representatives. January 27, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Moloney, Ed (June 25, 2005). "Rep. King and the IRA: The End of an Extraordinary Affair?". New York Sun. 
  14. ^ "Bush, Gore win most endorsements". USA Today. February 22, 2000. Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
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