Key Battleground Democrat Announces Surprise Retirement

By Jerry McConway, updated on March 28, 2024

We are getting very late into the election season right now, with most candidates confirmed for retiring or defending their seats.

That changed rather dramatically for Democrats on Wednesday when Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) announced that she would be retiring at the end of her term.

Talking Points…
- Where Congress sits now
- Shock retirement announced
- Analysis

Current State of Congress

The GOP has been getting rocked by early departures, currently leaving three of the four vacancies in the House from Republicans. That leaves a current House count of 218-213 in favor of Republicans. This translates to only two votes to be spared in any partisan legislation. Republicans have another seat that will be lost in April, which would then decrease that advantage to one vote, as any tie in Congress is deemed a defeated bill.

Several special elections are coming up in the primary season, but there is even controversy regarding those elections. When Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) left early, it meant that his seat would go off in a special election. Still, Democrat Governor Jared Polis decided to incorporate the special election into the primary election, which has caused a split ticket.

Rep. Boebert (R-CO) was struggling for support in her current district, so she announced that she would be running for Buck's seat when he announced that he would be stepping down. Now, voters are being asked to vote for one candidate in the special election to finish the term, then vote for Boebert in the regular primary election, which could be quite confusing for voters.

Kuster Unexpectedly Retires

Kuster will be finishing her term, but this now makes a seat that Democrats will have to defend without an incumbent, which drains resources from the DNC that could have been used in the presidential election.

Upon announcing her departure, Kuster stated:

"I always said I was not going to stay in Congress forever — I will not be seeking re-election in 2024."

She later added:

"We accomplished a lot. We laid out a path for a bipartisan approach. I'm very excited to turn that over to my colleagues, the younger generation, help them realize how they can be effective.

"They don't have to wait 20 years for seniority. They can really make a difference in six terms."


The reaction among the caucus and high-profile Democrats was pure shock, as nobody had any idea that Kuster would step down from her seat. She was in leadership, so this also creates a need to fill that void as well.

I would expect a Democrat to win this seat in the general election, but as I stated above, this takes additional resources that were not expected to be used. And with the late announcement, now Democrats will have to scramble to find a candidate that will appeal to voters in her district. Right now, Republicans need all the help they can get because it will not be easy to keep the majority with the new district maps and chaos that has been taking place in the House ever since the GOP took over control again after the 2022 election cycle.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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