Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster says she won't seek re-election in N.H. swing district

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Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat in a competitive New Hampshire district, announced Wednesday she won’t seek re-election this year.

Kuster, 67, who was first elected in 2012, is the chair of the moderate New Democrat Coalition. She said she'll stay in office through the end of her term in January.

Her decision could make the seat competitive in the House elections, creating an opportunity for Republicans in the swing district. The state's 2nd Congressional District, which includes Nashua and Concord, leans Democratic by just 2 points, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index.

“This work has been many things — rewarding, frustrating, inspiring, and challenging. But, more than anything, it has been an honor,” Kuster said in a statement. “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.”

A source close to Kuster said she is “focused on flipping the House” this fall and getting the New Democrat Coalition candidates and vulnerable members elected back to Congress. “For the rest of the Congress she will be pouring all of her energy into that goal,” the source said. “It’s also time for her, and her and her family.”

Kuster's retirement comes in the wake of Democratic drama in New Hampshire after the national party revamped the 2024 nominating calendar and stripped the state of its cherished first-in-the-nation primary status this year.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., praised Kuster's work in a statement.

“Her record of public service and delivering for New Hampshire is unmatched,” DelBene said. “I am constantly in awe of and inspired by her courage and will miss her as a colleague and friend. With her help, I’m confident that this seat will remain in Democratic hands so that Granite Staters can continue having a fighter for them in Congress.”

Savannah Viar, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, responded: “Yet another extreme House Democrat does not want anything to do with running on the same ballot with failure Joe Biden. Add her to the ever growing list of Democrats fleeing for the exits rather than defend a broken border, rising gas prices and slow economy.”

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