By Andrew Wroblewski
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) announced Tuesday that he does not plan to seek re-election to Congress this November. In a release, Israel said the decision was made in an effort to keep the Third Congressional District “in the hands of the Democrats.”
“I considered this decision deeply, but ultimately, I want to be a team player and ensure that my district, which is the only competitive district in House Democratic Leadership, remains in the hands of Democrats when I leave,” Israel, 57, stated.
The decision will allow Israel to “pursue new passions and develop new interests,” after he finishes his current term. He plans to spend time writing his second novel.
Israel, who was elected after Rick Lazio left his congressional seat to run for the United States Senate in 2000, served the Third Congressional District, which includes the entirety of the Town of Huntington, other portions of Suffolk, and parts of Nassau and Queens.
Israel, who grew up in Levittown, became a member of Democratic Caucus leadership, and served two terms as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and then chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. He said he is “proud of the leadership role” he’s played in the Caucus.
Israel also pointed out his work with New York’s veterans and military families, which he is “proudest of… securing $8.3 million in back pay.”
“It has been an incredible and humbling opportunity to serve my community. I am grateful to my family, friends, staff, and most of all – the people of New York. While I will miss this place and the people I have had the privilege to serve, I am looking forward to spending more time home and frequenting my beloved New York diners,” Israel stated.
“Simply put, it’s time to pass on the torch.”