Wednesday, January 18, 2012

NY Congressman to announce his retirement

From the Poughkeepsie Journal

WASHINGTON -- Ten-term Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey of Ulster County will retire at the end of the year, according to spokesman Mike Morosi.

Hinchey will make the official announcement Thursday in Kingston.

The impending retirement was first reported by The Politico, which cited unnamed sources.

The 73-year-old congressman underwent a second round of surgery for colon cancer earlier this month at Albany Medical Center, following an initial procedure in July.

Hinchey felt “very fortunate to be cancer-free’’ following the recent surgery, Morosi said. He described that operation as “a final benchmark procedure, marking the completion of (Hinchey’s) cancer protocol.”

In April, Hinchey released a statement from his doctor saying he was undergoing radiation treatment for colon cancer at the Ulster Radiation Oncology Center in Kingston.

He underwent surgery July 12 at the Albany Medical Center, followed by periodic chemotherapy that continued through the end of 2011.
Last week, Morosi said Hinchey faced “a number of hurdles” in deciding whether to seek re-election.

Hinchey is making his announcement a couple of weeks prior to the expected release of new congressional district lines by the state Legislature, and the timing serves a courtesy to lawmakers in Albany who may have intended to preserve the current configuration of his Democratic-leaning 22nd Congressional District. The current boundaries include numerous cities and colleges. The western boundary includes Ithaca and Binghamton, while the eastern boundary includes the cities of Poughkeepsie, Newburgh, Middletown and Kingston.

New York is losing two of its 29 House seats under redistricting this year because the state’s population grew slower than the rest of the country.

Last year Hinchey’s campaign fundraising lagged behind many other New York incumbents in Congress.

He ended September with $107,213, much less than the $225,000 to $890,000 held by each of three Republican freshmen in surrounding congressional districts.

Hinchey’s campaign has not yet released its year-end 2011 fundraising report.

Two Republicans already have announced they’re running for the 22nd District seat.

George Phillips, a teacher from the Binghamton area who lost to Hinchey in 2008 and 2010, had $55,640 at the end of September.

Tom Engel, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, declared his candidacy in October. An Ulster County resident, Engel is a principal in the McKool Smith law firm.

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