New York Republican Peter King has declared his intention to run for election as President of the United States.

The Irish American from Long Island made the declaration during an interview with a New Hampshire radio station.

In doing so, he became the first GOP member to throw his hat into the ring for 2016.

King has been a leading light in the Irish American community for decades and a committed supporter of Sinn Fein long before they became involved in the peace process. He is Co-Chair of the Friends of Ireland in Congress.

He was one of five GOP congressmen  who refused to vote against Clinton’s impeachment in his case on personal grounds because of what Clinton did to bring peace to Northern Ireland.

The New York Daily News reports that King told a New Hampshire radio interviewer that Granite Staters could expect to see a lot more of him ‘because right now I’m running for President’.

The report states that fellow Republicans senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are widely expected to run in 2016 and announce soon but King has staked his claim first.

Making his second of four scheduled visits to the state in the summer and fall, King told the New Hampshire radio station Friday that he’s there ‘because right now I’m running for President’.

The paper says it’s the most direct statement so far from King, who has repeatedly said he is considering a run.

The report adds that King (R-L.I.) has said he is testing the waters to push the field away from what he considers the isolationist views of potential GOP candidates like the libertarian leaning Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and conservative firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).