Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy will not seek reelection to a 10th term in 2014, she announced today.
A resident of Mineola, McCarthy was first elected in 1996. She is best known for her stance on gun control, and was in fact moved to run for office after her husband, Dennis, was killed and her son, Kevin, was wounded 20 years ago by Colin Ferguson in what came to be known as The LIRR Massacre.
McCarthy has been battling lung cancer since her diagnosis in June, and has undergone chemotherapy treatments at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
“I have decided not to seek re-election to the United States Congress in 2014,” said McCarthy. “I am forever grateful to my constituents for giving me the privilege of representing them in Congress for the past 18 years."
McCarthy has been involved in legislation including historic reforms in the areas of finance, health, education and gun safety. She serves as a senior member of the Committee on Education and Workforce. As Ranking Member of the Early Childhood Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee, the Congresswoman oversees education policy matters from early learning through high school and also serves on the Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee. She was instrumental in having her Serve America Act signed into law by President Obama in April 2009, which made historic investments in national service programs.
“We’ll miss Carolyn in Washington,” said Congressman Peter King (R-Seaford). “She was a very hardworking and conscientious member of Congress. Whatever political differences we had never stopped us from working together on issues regarding Long Island and New York. I wish her a very happy and healthy retirement with her family.”
"As I plan for the next chapter of my life, I look forward to resuming my role as a citizen activist for the causes and principles that are so close to my heart," she said.
Her National Instant Criminal Background Check Database Improvement Amendments Act was signed into law in 2008. The law is designed to provide states with grants to upgrade information and identification technologies for firearms eligibility determinations. The law also requires all Federal agencies to update the database with information regarding persons ineligible to purchase firearms.
“As a nation, more needs to be done to keep our citizens safe, while simultaneously protecting our Constitutional rights," McCarthy said. "Incidents involving gun violence over the last two years serve as yet another reminder that although modest progress has been made over the years, there is much more work to do.”