WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic congressman Steve Israel of New York says he will retire at the end of this year.
Israel is 57 and in his eighth term. He is a top ally to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and has led communications strategies to elect Democrats to the House.
Israel's announcement is unexpected as he's among those seen as a possible successor to Pelosi. But in a statement Israel says it is time to pursue new passions and develop new interests, and spend more time writing his second novel.
He says that by retiring in a presidential election year he will help ensure that his district stays in Democratic hands because of the high Democratic turnout in a presidential year.
Israel represents northern Long Island and eastern Queens.
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