After 29 years in the House of Representatives, Congressman Gary Ackerman, D-Roslyn Heighs, announced that he will not be seeking a 16th term this fall.
The announcement came as a shock Thursday night and comes after a wave of redistricting news following a federal judge’s approval of a plan to shrink Ackerman’s district to an area of Queens “similar to the one he first won 30 years ago” according to Newsday.
“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,” Ackerman, 69, said in a statement on his Congressional webpage. “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. I am most thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve my country and my community.”
The political implications of Ackerman’s announcement also avoid what many believed would either be a run-off primary between himself and , D-Mineola, whose own district was reportedly being merged with the one currently being held by Ackerman.
Ackerman first served in the U.S. Senate in in the 1970s and was elected to the House in 1983 via a special election to replace Rep. Ben Rosenthal, who passed away.