One Republican state legislator said Thursday he won’t jump in the race to replace Rep. Peter King in part because of the “absolute insanity” that has become national politics.
Another said he’s all in. And yet another says he’s raised more than $200,000 since forming a campaign committee less than 1 month ago.
It’s the latest developments in what expected to be a heated battle to succeed King (R-Seaford), who will step down at the end of 2020 after serving 28 years in the House of Representatives.
State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) said he won’t run for Congress but instead will seek re-election. Freshman Assemb. Michael LiPetri (R-South Farmingdale) said he’s in. And Assemb. Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) said he’s raised $218,000 since Dec. 6.
Boyle, a political veteran with more than two decades of experience in elected office, said he believed he could have won the swing district, which covers parts of the South Shore of Nassau and Suffolk counties. But there were other considerations, he said.
“A victory would have ensured that the vast majority of my time, year-round, would have been spent away from my family, to say nothing of subjecting them to the absolute insanity which has now sadly become part of our national politics,” Boyle said in an email.
LiPetri said he’ll be a “fearless independent voice” while opposing “radical, left-wing politicians” who favor “free handouts.”
“It is time to present a new American vision. Next generation Republican leadership which embraces economic opportunity, encourages our strong entrepreneurial spirit and invests in innovation and job creation in the fields of technology and manufacturing,” LiPetri said in his campaign announcement. "A vision which rejects radical left-wing extremism and defends all Americans who work hard and play by the rules.”
LiPetri noted his Assembly district fits within King’s congressional district and, among announced candidates, is the lone one to straddle Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Garbarino, a fifth-term state legislator, hasn’t made a formal candidacy announcement, saying he wanted to show first he was a legitimate candidate through a strong fundraising operation.
“And to be a legitimate candidate, I thought I should raise at least $200,000,” Garbarino said.
Babylon and Islip Republicans will be screening candidates next week, he added.
Among other potential GOP candidates, Suffolk County Board of Elections Commissioner Nicholas LaLota and Islip town council member Trish Bergin Weichbrodt have filed paperwork to run.
Among Democrats, Babylon town board member Jackie Gordon, committee member Mike Sax and pharmacist Johanna Kristin Ellerup have said they want to run.