Not even retirement can slow down Peter King. After 28 years in the U.S. House — including a two-year stint as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee — as well as more than two decades serving on both the Hempstead town council and as Nassau County comptroller, King finds himself busier than ever.
He’s working with a Washington law firm, and does consulting work for Northwell Health. He makes regular appearances on the Newsmax cable channel, as well as John Catsimatidis’s 77WABC radio station.
But now King is adding one more job to that list as a new regular columnist for Herald Community Newspapers. The former congressman’s first official piece appears in this week’s Opinions pages.
“It’s not like I have to catch a plane to get to Washington, or I’m at the whim of what’s the last vote going to be on Thursday night or Friday night,” King said. “I pretty much plan my own schedule. And the best feeling I had — and it took me about a month to get used to — is waking up in the morning and knowing I can go back to sleep if I want to.”
These days, King finds himself solely focused on life here at home. But for nearly three decades, the congressman was caught between the two worlds of Washington and his district back in New York. The trick in the beginning was making sure he never lost sight of why he was on the House floor in the first place.
“When you’re in Washington, you’re still responsible for a lot of local issues, because the local mayors and supervisors and town boards — they’re going to be calling you and reaching out for help,” King said. “I think with a number of members of Congress, they’re so concerned with the international and national aspects of it, they forget the guy living down the block.
“The guy that lives in Highland Park. The guy that lives in Seaford. That’s where you base comes from. So, really, the challenge is to keep all of those things in your mind, and be able to sort through them all.”
King has made no secret about his support of U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, whose congressional district covers much of what King’s did back in the day. In fact, his first column focuses on the high hopes King has of his protégé, and how the sky’s the limit for the former town councilman.
“I mean, Anthony, we talk several times a week,” King said. “I don’t want to sound like I am telling him what to do, or giving him some great advice. But maybe one thing I can be most helpful on is telling him early on which members of Congress you can pay attention to, and which others to just ignore.
“Some of them you try to take seriously, but then you realize after a month or two that these guys are cranks, and nobody else is listening to them, except you.”