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Kuster will not seek reelection in New Hampshire

Six-term House centrist to continue to lead New Democrat Coalition this year

Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., will not seek another term in November.
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., will not seek another term in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster won’t seek reelection this year, opening up a House seat that she’s held for more than a decade. 

“This work has been many things — rewarding, frustrating, inspiring, and challenging. But, more than anything, it has been an honor,” the six-term Democrat said in a statement Wednesday.

“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, advocating for a better future, and pursuing the change that we want to see. I always said I was not going to stay in Congress forever — I will not be seeking re-election in 2024,” she said. 

Kuster, 67, chairs the New Democrat Coalition, the largest group of moderate Democrats in Congress, which she plans to keep leading this cycle. She sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force. She’s also a founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, and she has sought to work across the aisle while still being a reliable Democratic vote.

Like other New Hampshire Democrats, she took a leading role in the “write-in Biden” campaign, urging Democrats to write President Joe Biden’s name in the Jan. 23 presidential primary, despite him not officially participating in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary. 

Kuster first ran for Congress in 2010 but lost a close race to Republican Charles Bass. After deciding to run again in 2012, Kuster raised $1 million more than Bass and narrowly defeated him in a rematch. 

She had a tough race in 2016, when then-Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California campaigned with her in New Hampshire. In 2022, she won reelection by 12 points. 

Democratic leaders reacted to her decision with praise for her work on the opioid crisis and supporting victims of sexual assault. 

“The common thread in Annie’s rich Congressional record is her incredible ability to bring people together and build bipartisan bridges in order to solve problems. A classmate and true friend of mine, Annie has been a tremendous source of strength to me and countless others in the House Democratic Caucus family,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said in a statement. 

Kuster is the 11th House Democrat to announce her retirement, and the 25th to be leaving the House at the end of the year because they resigned early or are seeking another office. An additional 21 Republicans have announced plans to either retire or seek another office. 

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race for New Hampshire’s 2nd District seat as Likely Democratic. New Hampshire has a late congressional primary, which is set for Sept. 10. The filing deadline is June 14, according to a calendar published by the Federal Election Commission.

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