Long time Representative Peter King looking to win 14th election
On Nov. 6, many predict incumbent Peter King (R) will be elected for a 14th term over newcomer Liuba Grechen Shirley (D) for Long Island’s 2nd Congressional District. According to the latest Cook Political Report’s House Race Rating, the race is considered “uncompetitive” and “likely to remain Republican.”
King, 74, was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993 and was most recently re-elected in Nov. 2016 with 62.1 percent of the votes, according to the results published by the New York State Board of Elections. In contrast, this is the first election for his opponent, 37-year-old Grechen Shirley who is not a politician but an economic development expert who has worked for the United Nations Foundation.
Part of Grechen Shirley’s campaign includes highlighting King’s long tenure in office and emphasizing a need for change in Congress. But how is it that King has been able to hold his position for so long?
According to William O’Reilly, a Republican political strategist, King has “his own brand.”
“Pete King always spoke his own mind,” O’Reilly said. He’s always been willing to break with orthodox, be it with his own party or with the Democratic party.”
Another challenge Shirley faces in unseating King is the financial discrepancies between their two campaigns. According to the Federal Election Commission, King has $2,277,786 in cash on hand to fund his campaign compared to the $211,783 Shirley has for her campaign. A considerable advantage for King.
However, one advantage that Shirley might have is the fact that there are more registered Democratic voters in the 2nd district. According to data collected in April by the Board of Elections, there are 168,840 total registered Democrats compared to 163,748 registered Republicans.
Miranda Pino, a fellow with the New York Democratic Party, believes that King has been in office too long and supports Grechen Shirley.
“Anybody’s better than Peter King,” she said, adding that Grechen Shirley is “young” and “has a lot of good ideas.”
Republican Angelo Ferrara, councilman for the Town of North Hempstead’s 2nd District, agrees that King has been in office too long and argues that there should be term limits for members of Congress.
“It’s a two-year term,” he said. “It’s not like the Senate where it’s six years and you have people there for 30, 40, 50 years.”