Rep. Israel: I’m leaving Congress because of fundraising

Greg Nash
 
Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) says the demands of fundraising helped drive him to retirement, and he is pushing for campaign finance reform. 
 
Israel, a prominent House Democrat who once headed up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, announced earlier this month that he will not run for reelection. 
 
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He told host John Catsimatidis on “The Cats Roundtable” on New York’s AM-970 on Sundas that part of the reason for his decision was simply wanting to allow for new blood in Congress and not wanting to be a lawmaker forever. 
 
But he also cited the need to fundraise. 
 
“I just don’t think I could take another day asking another donor for another dollar,” he said. 
 
“Fundraising is just a relentless regimen,” he added. 
 
He said many people in his district do not feel that government is working for them, calling attention to the need to “reform campaign finance that in so many respects, I think, stacks the deck against those everyday Americans.”
 
Israel represents a competitive district, and he joked that every registered Democrat would be interested in the seat. 
 
He declined to say who his leading three candidates are. 
 
“I may endorse at some point, but right now I just want to see how things develop,” he said.