August 31st, 2009
02:27 PM ET
5 years ago

King not taking on Gillibrand

King denied a Senate bid.
King denied a Senate bid.

(CNN) – Peter King made it official Monday.

The Republican congressman from New York State announced that he won't take on Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand next year when the appointed senator runs for the final two years of Hillary Clinton's term.

After Clinton announced that she would step down from her seat to become secretary of state, King - the last remanning GOP congressman from Long Island, a former Republican bastion - hinted that he might make a bid for statewide office. But in recent months, most political observers wrote off any actual run by King.

King says it came down to money.


"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," said King in a statement.

He added that he would have made a bid for the Senate if New York Governor David Paterson had named Caroline Kennedy to Clinton's seat rather than Gillibrand.

"Her candidacy would have generated the media coverage and financial contributions necessary for me to run a competitive race," said King.
"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."

King is one of just three New York Republicans in Congress, one of whom - upstate Rep. John McHugh - plans to step down to serve as secretary of the army in the Obama administration.

–CNN Congressional producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: Kirsten Gillibrand • Peter King
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Alan in Marietta, GA

    Money, right! The guy is a loser who has skeltons.

    August 31, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. victim of republican greed

    I am sure we will all miss the nasty hateful campaign that King would wage.

    August 31, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Pepou

    King is a disgrace to this country. Good riddance!

    August 31, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Polar Bears Against Palin

    King should get out of politics. He is a human toxic waste dump.

    August 31, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Todd

    He knows he would get SMOKED!!!!

    August 31, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Idiot_Pelosi

    What makes you think Hillary won't run again after she is fired (made to look like resigns) from her current job as lackluster SEC OF STATE.

    It's pathetic that "slick willy" upstages her everytime she moves.

    The old wind bag is not respected internationally and it shows.

    August 31, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Beverly - NYC

    Mr. King money isn't the only issue, it's also your mouth, and a democratic city who wouldn't vote for you.

    August 31, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Larry

    Sure it came down to money. That's what really matters to republicans. But I'm sure Mr. King really means that he will be able to put more money in his own pocket if he doesn't run and that's the bottom line.

    August 31, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Ron

    This guy is a national moron and embarassment to New York and the repiblican party. He should resign his current seat as well.

    August 31, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Drew Dubya

    King knows he's nothing - less than nothing - on a statewide level. Better stick to Long Island while the sticking's marginally good.

    August 31, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. Gary

    New York should have a strong Republican candidate to consider for Senator. Having lived in that state before I can tell you that the Democratic lock on power has made the state prone to corruption and a slow growing, high tax, industrial declining state. If it weren't for NYC, the state would be a disaster. Some more fiscally conservative policies (lower spending, less welfare, more focus on bringing in work and requiring people to work) would really go a long way towards helping that state. A conservative Democrat, a socially liberal (fiscally conservative) Republican or even an independent may really help that state. I wish Mayor Bloomburg would run for Senate.

    August 31, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. I can see Canada from my house!

    Did he manage to say something without lacing his comments with profanity?

    King is the last vestige of an intellectually and morally moribund GOP in New York. When McHugh steps down, that leaves only King and Chris Lee, a freshman as the last significant members of a party that supplied people like Dewey and Rockefeller, Javitts and TR.

    Sad.

    August 31, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. R in Maine

    If he avoids her, it will be the first smart thing he has done in recent decades.

    August 31, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Kevin in Ohio

    Just as well.... Gillibrand is a dirty politician that does not hesitate to make false accusations to win elections. That's how she became a congresswoman in the first place.

    August 31, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Lee

    King won't even retain his House seat. The trend has been that republicans are only gaining in the areas of the country that are least educated and the most gullible.

    New Yorkers are smarter than the lies now being peddled by the republican party, especially the health care lies they purposefully spread to old people. Disgusting!

    August 31, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  16. annie s

    Not to mention that regardless of money, he would not have won.

    August 31, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Ryan

    I'm surprise he didn't also say "oh, and if I have run against Caroline Kennedy I most definitely would have won"... you know, while he was on a roll trying to rationalize why he is gutless and come out looking remotely relevant at the other end.

    August 31, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Maria - Proud Democrat

    This is good news for Gillibrand..

    August 31, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Mike A.

    While I don't like him, I certainly understand Peter King, and the constituency that has re-elected him time and again.

    It's the same community of "white-flight" blue collar suburbanites that nurtured guys like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity in the 50's and 60's. These white voters were fearful of NYC's Democratic leaders and saw the egalitarian policies of these civic leaders as a betrayal of the white working class. They settled in LI and voted GOP. They raised their kids to distrust Democrats too.

    It was my home from 1965 to 1991, and sure enough the white blue-collar families of LI have been crowded out by the diverse minorities of NYC seeking a yard, a garage, and better schools. These groups brought their Democratic voting history with them and as the article points out, King is the last LI Republican left standing. Next time you hear him speak , just remember that right or wrong, he's the last voice of the white blue collar families of LI hve to speak on their behalf. When he goes, so too will the LI of my youth.

    August 31, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. MonRob

    You look like a bull, King. I dislike you intensively.

    August 31, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Gus The Willie

    Now what is this Dan Aykroyd impersonator up to again? He should be out there Ghostbusting. But you can't fault the guy for being cautious, he would be on the losing end all around.

    August 31, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Tracy

    Hmmm....after his YouTube rant and more recent comment, I really pity the people within his constitutency.

    August 31, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Irma in North Carolina

    He probably realizes he would not win and doesnt want to make a fool out him self .

    August 31, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Is it his last statement that kind of sealed the coffin? I know that he didn't always have nice things to say.

    August 31, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. I Can See Argentina from my Front Porch

    Money, phooey!!
    A likely story, and one that I am not buying.
    Not in a "New York Minute" (pun intended :0 )

    August 31, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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