Updated Mar 27, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Another top House Democrat announces plans to retire

Rep. Annie Kuster, wearing a purple blazer, black blouse and red glasses, speaks at a microphone against a black backdrop.

Rep. Annie Kuster. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), the powerful chair of the New Democrat Coalition, said Wednesday she will not seek reelection to Congress in November.

Why it matters: Kuster is the latest in a flood of lawmakers in both parties who are leaving Congress amid complaints of chaos and a lack of productivity.

What she's saying: "As I look to the future, I am excited by the work and opportunities that lie ahead. We all have a role to play in standing up for what we believe in," Kuster said in a statement.

  • "I always said I was not going to stay in Congress forever — I will not be seeking re-election in 2024."
  • Kuster said she will continue to lead the New Democrats, a group of roughly 100 center-left House Democrats, through 2024.

The backdrop: Kuster first won election to Congress in 2012 and has served six terms, becoming chair of the New Democrats last January.

  • She has routinely faced competitive reelection battles in her narrowly-divided district, but has won by double digits the last two cycles.

State of play: Kuster's announcement means more than a dozen House Democrats are leaving Congress this year without immediate plans to run for higher office – including veteran lawmakers and members of leadership.

  • Roughly a dozen House Republicans, including many powerful committee chairs, are also planning to retire.
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.), chair of the China Select Committee, announced plans to resign next month. He's the latest in a series of retiring Republicans who decided to cut their terms short.
  • Many other lawmakers in both parties are leaving their seats to run for Senate or other offices.

Zoom in: Kuster isn't the only leading New Democrat who is retiring this cycle.

  • Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), the group's vice chair, said last November that he will not seek a seventh term.

Go deeper: Who isn't running for re-election in the House and Senate in 2024

Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from Rep. Kuster.

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