House Dem Announces Retirement In Huge Shakeup

Six-term New Hampshire Democrat Rep. Annie Kuster announced late last month that she would not seek reelection in November, leaving the Granite State’s 2nd District open for a possible Republican, the Associated Press reported.

While she did not explain what prompted her decision to retire, the 67-year-old Kuster said in a March 27 press release that ever since she was first elected in 2012, she always said that she would not “stay in Congress forever.”

The six-term congresswoman is NH-02’s longest-serving representative. The mostly rural district stretches from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts state line and includes the cities of Concord and Nashua.

Kuster said she planned to remain in the House until the end of this term and vowed to use her remaining time to “build on the progress we have made and finish the job for the American people.

Kuster defeated Republican Rep. Charlie Bass to flip the district blue in 2012 after losing to Bass in 2010.

In the 2012 rematch, the Hopkinton attorney, whose mother served in the New Hampshire state Legislature as a Republican for 25 years, campaigned on her ability to reach across the aisle and work with both Democrats and Republicans.

In the 2022 midterms, Kuster defeated Trump-supporting Republican Robert Burns.

University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala told the Associated Press that Kuster had a reputation as a centrist Democrat.

Scala noted that five Republicans have already said they were running in the primary and suggested that it would be a “significant lift” for any Republican to win the district.

With Kuster’s retirement, the total number of House members not seeking reelection in 2024 has increased to 42 – 19 Republicans and 23 Democrats.

Fellow New Hampshire Democrat Rep. Chris Pappas described Kuster as “a trailblazer” and “respected leader” who always put the people of New Hampshire first.