Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) announced that even though he was asked to reconsider his decision not to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, he's still planning to seek re-election to his House seat. He was included on our list earlier today of those who have already punted on the contest. Rudy Giuliani publicly renewed the King candidacy talk Dec. 22 as the ex-mayor pulled his own name out of contention.
Here's the way King put it in his press release:
"More that four months ago I announced that I would not be a candidate for the United States Senate in 2010. During the past several weeks, however, a number of state and national leaders - as well as many friends and supporters - asked me to reconsider my decision. Because of my great regard for all those people, I told them I would discuss their request with my family and close advisors over Christmas and announce my decision early in the New Year."
"While the political situation has changed dramatically in the Republicans' favor since September and I believe that Sen. Gillibrand can and will be defeated in 2010, I will not be a candidate for the Senate.
"There are two main reasons for my decision:
"1) The time I would have to devote to fundraising and campaigning throughout New York state over the next 10 months would prevent me from doing my job as Congressman and as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee; and
"2) I am increasingly confident that Republicans will retake the majority in the House of Representatives and that I will again have the opportunity to be Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee - a position which, as recent events have dramatically demonstrated, is vital to the safety of our nation and the New York City-Long Island region."
"It has been my privilege to represent New York's 3rd Congressional District for more that 17 years. I hope to be re-elected to that position in November."