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Peter 'Pete' Thomas King
Birthdate: April 5, 1944
Birth Place: New York, NY, United States
Residence: Seaford, NY
First Elected: 1992
State: New York
District: District 2
Undergraduate: St. Francis College
Graduate: University of Notre Dame
Pete King was born in New York City and now resides in Seaford, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1965 from St. Francis College and a law degree in 1968 from the University of Notre Dame.
King went into private law practice and served as a Hempstead town councilman before being elected Nassau County comptroller in 1981.
He won election to the U.S. House in 1992.
King and his wife, Rosemary, have two children.
Pete King, representing New York's 3rd District, has become a well-known member of Congress through his chairmanship of the House Homeland Security Committee. In 2011 and 2012, he has held controversial hearings examining what he calls "Muslim radicalization" in the United States. Protests both in support and against the hearings have been held outside his Long Island district office.
As a result of redistricting, he is seeking re-election to Congress in 2012 from New York's newly redrawn 2nd District.
In June 2012, King defended the hearings, stating that while the Muslim community in the U.S. makes up only 1 percent of the population, 90 percent of terrorist crimes are carried out by extreme members of the community. King says he wants to give moderate Republicans a way to speak out in these hearings. The Muslim community, however, responded that these hearings are witch hunts that are singling out a particular religion for undue scrutiny.
He has also been a vocal supporter of New York City police tactics examining the Muslim community. He also has advocated for funding to the Securing the Cities Program to protect the New York-Long Island region from nuclear dirty bomb attacks, and introduced legislation in May 2009 to restore funding and permanently authorize the project.
King also serves on the Financial Services Committee and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
His campaign notes he has received the AARP's Legislative Leadership Award for combating elder abuse and exploitation.
Prior to serving in Congress, King was elected to three terms as comptroller of Nassau County. Before serving in county government, he worked as a lawyer and was a civic leader. He began his political career in November 1977 by winning election to the Hempstead Town Council.
While King's voting record is conventionally conservative, he has become best known for speaking his mind, breaking with his party and taking on controversial causes.
King voted against the 2009 approximately $800 billion economic stimulus package, making him just one of two New York representatives to do so.
King is intimately involved in Irish causes and he is viewed as one of the strongest U.S. supporters of the Irish Republican Army-linked Sinn Fein. When Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams comes to the United States, he frequently uses King's office as a home base. Yet in 2005, as the IRA was beset by criticism over a Belfast bar killing and a bank heist, King said it was time for the IRA to disband in order to advance the Northern Ireland peace process.
King is the last Republican congressman in Long Island, which once boasted one of the most powerful GOP organizations in the country.
Source: Associated Press
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