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New York Rep. Gary Ackerman to retire

at 10:18 PM ET, 03/15/2012

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday that he will not seek reelection this year.

“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,” Ackerman said in a statement. “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.”

Ackerman’s retirement was not expected, but it will not put a Democratic seat at risk. Under a new redistricting plan created by the courts, Ackerman’s district remains heavily Democratic, while a nearby district held by Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) gets eliminated.

By waiting until now to retire, Ackerman may have saved his district. The state needed to eliminate two congressional districts in the current round of redistricting, and one was held by another retiring member, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D). Ackerman is the second member of the state’s congressional delegation to announce his retirement.

Ackerman is the 15th Democrat to announce his retirement from the House this cycle. Eight others are seeking other office.

Nine Republicans are retiring, with seven others seeking higher office.

 
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