Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire announced her decision not to seek re-election this year, a move that could make her seat competitive in the upcoming House elections. Kuster has represented the swing district since 2012 and is the chair of the moderate New Democrat Coalition. The 67-year-old lawmaker will stay in office through the end of her term in January. The state’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Nashua and Concord, leans Democratic by just 2 points, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

In a statement, Kuster expressed gratitude for her time in Congress, labeling it as rewarding, frustrating, inspiring, and challenging. She emphasized the importance of advocating for a better future and pursuing the change that is desired. Kuster made it clear that she always intended to leave Congress at some point and confirmed that she will not be seeking re-election in 2024. A source close to Kuster revealed that she is focused on flipping the House this fall and getting New Democrat Coalition candidates and vulnerable members elected back to Congress. The source also mentioned that Kuster is looking forward to spending more time with her family.

Kuster’s retirement comes amid Democratic drama in New Hampshire following the national party’s decision to revamp the 2024 nominating calendar and remove the state’s first-in-the-nation primary status. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Suzan DelBene of Washington praised Kuster’s dedication to public service and her track record of delivering for New Hampshire. DelBene expressed confidence that the seat will remain in Democratic hands with Kuster’s help. Savannah Viar, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, criticized Kuster and other Democratic lawmakers for distancing themselves from President Joe Biden and the current administration’s policies.

With Kuster’s decision not to seek re-election, the race for her seat in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District is expected to become more competitive. Republicans may see an opportunity to capture the swing district that leans Democratic by a narrow margin. Kuster’s departure from Congress will open up new possibilities for candidates from both parties to vie for the seat and potentially reshape the political landscape in the region. As the November elections draw closer, the focus will be on which party can position itself to win the crucial seat in a district that has been historically contested.

Kuster’s legacy and impact on New Hampshire politics will be remembered as she prepares to step down from Congress after a decade of service. Her leadership within the New Democrat Coalition and advocacy for key issues in the swing district have left a lasting impression on her constituents. The upcoming election will be closely watched as candidates from both parties vie for the open seat, hoping to continue the work that Kuster started during her time in office. The outcome of the race will not only determine the future representation of New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District but also contribute to the broader political landscape in the state and across the nation.

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