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Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello and the county’s 2,000 member GOP committee have put their full weight behind Rep. Peter King’s potential candidacy for president.
In a letter to national GOP chairman Reince Priebus, Tuesday, Mondello “strongly requested that you ensure Congressman King is included in all party events and debates featuring potential presidential candidates.”
The party leader said he wrote the letter after meeting for several hours with King Monday. Mondello said he met shortly thereafter with state GOP chairman Edward Cox and asked that King receive similar consideration. Cox and Priebus could not be reached Tuesday night.
King, 69, has made five trips to New Hampshire, and has had requests to go to Iowa, but says he will not make a decision on running for at least another year. Party officials say candidate forums and debates are not likely to begin until early next year, but there are events through 2014 that potential GOP contenders may want to attend.
“Peter King is a true blue collar Reagan Republican with a lifetime 74 percent conservative voting record,” Mondello wrote, noting that the Seaford Republican is strong on defense, homeland security and popular among building trades, firefighter and police unions. “The bottom line is: Pete is well qualified and can win if he gets the opportunity.”
King said the backing of local party, still one of the strongest GOP organizations in the nation, gives him “more credibility which will mean more coverage.” King said his candidate status is “pre-exploratory.” He said he wants to the party to have “a realistic Republican agenda, with a strong defense, a middle class approach and ability to get the job done.”
Mondello, who started in the town ranks with King, said the congressman is what the nation needs.
“He’s my hometown boy ... and we’re going to stand foursquare behind him and do whatever we can to help,” said Mondello. “He’s not just about getting elected. He’s about doing the right thing and that’s important ... There are lot of people on both sides of the aisle who don’t consider what’s best for the country anymore.”