From the Daily News:
Rep. Gary Ackerman said Thursday he won’t seek re-election — a surprise announcement made two hours after a possible challenger vowed not to run against the veteran Democratic congressman.
The Queens political icon, who is in his 15th term, gave no reason for his decision in an early evening press release. He just thanked Queens and Long Island voters for their support in a career that saw him elected to the state Senate in 1978, followed five years later by a successful run for a seat in the House.
“I’ve been truly privileged to have had the opportunity to fight for the beliefs of my neighbors in both the state Capitol and in the halls of Congress,” Ackerman’s statement said.
Later, in a speech to Democratic club members in Queens that Ackerman, 69, said would be his last as a candidate, the congressional stalwart and staunch supporter of Israel said he looks forward to spending more time with family, a source at the meeting said.
His out-of-nowhere press release, sent at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, caught supporters and politicos off guard — none more so than state Assemblyman Rory Lancman, who had announced at 5:30 p.m. Thursday that he wouldn’t run against Ackerman.
Other political pigs are already lining up at the trough.