NY Congressman Jim Scheuer Announces Retirement
NEW YORK (AP) _ Rep. James H. Scheuer announced today he would retire at the end of the current term, his 13th in Congress, citing his age and congressional redistricting.
″I would not be comfortable with a brand new congressional district, more than half of which is new to me,″ the veteran lawmaker said in a statement.
Under the congressional district lines redrawn after the 1990 Census, Scheuer was put in the new 5th District, which stretches from the middle of Queens into the eastern section of Long Island. Had he decided to run, Scheuer would have been pitted against a fellow Democratic incumbent, Rep. Gary Ackerman, in the September primary.
At present, he represents a more compact district, the 8th, covering parts of Queens, the Bronx and the western Long Island suburbs.
″These new constituents would rightly expect me to spend my weekends and other free time in a diligent, ongoing effort to establish close communications with them,″ he said.
″At 72 years of age, I must point out in all candor, that perspectives and priorities change,″ he said.
Because of the 1990 Census, New York state has lost two congressional districts, making the redistricting process particularly complicated in the state.
Scheuer is vice chair of the Science, Space and Technology and the Energy and Commerce committees, and chair of the Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Education and Health.
Scheuer first went to the House of Representatives in 1964, representing a Bronx district. He was defeated in 1972, but went back to Congress in 1975.
With his announcement, Scheuer becomes one of at least 85 members of Congress who are leaving this year either because of retirement, defeat in primaries, or the decision to run for a higher office.