BOWING OUT

Top Democrat Steve Israel Retiring in 2017

Eight-term Democratic Rep. Steve Israel announced Tuesday that he will not seek a ninth term this November, instead opting for a retirement full of book-writing and hobby-searching. In a statement, the Long Island-based lawmaker said he plans to explore "new passions and develop new interests, mainly spend more time writing my second novel," and "spending more time home and frequenting my beloved New York diners." He concluded: "Simply put, it’s time to pass on the torch.” A member of his party's House leadership for several years, Israel also once served as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.