Long Island Congressman Peter King is backing former C.I.A. officer Gary Berntsen in the battle to take on Chuck Schumer.
“Gary Berntsen is a true patriot who would make an outstanding United States Senator and that is why I am proud to support his candidacy,” Mr. King said in a statement emailed by the Berntsen camp.
At his Senate campaign kick-off a few weeks ago, Mr. Berntsen told me that he and Mr. King had met to discuss security issues shortly after Mr. Bertnsen’s retirement from the agency–where he led the search for Obama bin Laden in Afghanistan (detailed in his book Jawbreaker)–and that he considers Mr. King to be a friend.
The endorsement of a hawkish, nine-term congressman,–who is also the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee–might bolster Mr. Berntsen’s image as a “terror warrior“, and would presumably help him in his primary race against Conservative nominee Jay Townsend, after both men qualified for the primary ballot at last week’s Republican convention.