Wow. On the heels of his possible congressional opponent, Rory Lancman, bowing out of a run for Congress, Queens/Long Island Rep. Gary Ackerman is now bowing out too, according to a press release I just got from Ackerman’s office.
I am told the Queens Dems are meeting tomorrow to nominate congressional candidates, but two people I’ve spoken to close to the Queens Dems were unaware of Ackerman’s retirement.
I also have heard that Rep. Joe Crowley, the Queens Democratic leader, would be potentially a good fit for this seat, since this would be a favorable district for him, but I have no idea if that’s actually part of the equation here.
UPDATE: Ackerman confirms on Facebook. (H/T Colin Campbell).
More to come, but here’s the release.
Congressman Ackerman announces he will not seek re-election
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) today announced that he will not seek re-election to the United States Congress.
On the eve of the Federal Circuit Court’s approval of Congressional district lines that were seen to be extraordinarily favorable to Ackerman, and with the primary-free backing of the Democratic Party virtually assured, Ackerman has informed his family, staff, friends and party leaders that he will not seek a 16th term of office.
“The residents of Queens and Long Island have honored me with their trust and support for the past 34 years, first as a New York State Senator, and for the past 15 terms as a Member of Congress,” said Ackerman. “I’ve been truly privileged to have had the opportunity to fight for the beliefs of my neighbors in both the State Capital and in the halls of Congress. During my years in Congress, it has been my pleasure to address the needs of thousands of individual constituents and to influence domestic and global policy while serving on the Financial and Foreign Affairs Committees in the House. I am most thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve my country and my community.”
Congressman Ackerman went on to say that he remains extremely passionate about the causes related to his Congressional activities and expects that he will continue to be aggressively involved in many local and global issues as he moves into his role as a private citizen.
Ackerman’s term of office will end on January 2, 2013.