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Representative Annie Kuster, who chairs the New Democratic Coalition and has served since 2012, announced her retirement from Congress at the end of her term. Her district, the Second Congressional District of New Hampshire, was narrowly won by President Joe Biden in 2020. Kuster stated that she will not seek reelection in 2024, citing her excitement for future opportunities and advocating for change. She pledged to continue serving her term to “finish the job for the American people” and help build on the progress made.

Kuster has a history of outperforming the top of the ticket in her district, winning reelection by significant margins in recent elections. Her district includes liberal-leaning cities such as Nashua and Concord, as well as Keene and Hanover. The 2024 race was not viewed as particularly competitive prior to Kuster’s retirement announcement, with the race classified as “likely Democratic” by the Cook Political Report. The National Republican Congressional Committee did not list the race as a top pickup opportunity, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not view it as a frontline race.

Republicans celebrated Kuster’s departure, attributing it to Democrats wanting to distance themselves from the failures of the Biden administration. New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, responded to Kuster’s retirement with praise for her work on women’s reproductive rights, the opioid epidemic, and support for survivors of sexual violence. Shaheen expressed that the New Hampshire delegation will miss Kuster and wished her the best in her next chapter.

Overall, Kuster’s retirement adds to the growing list of members of Congress who are not seeking reelection in 2024. Her departure leaves an open Congressional district that has leaned Democratic in recent election cycles but has seen close margins in recent elections. While the race was not initially seen as competitive, Kuster’s retirement may lead to increased attention on the district in the lead-up to the November elections. Kuster emphasized the importance of advocating for a better future and pursuing change in her statement announcing her retirement.

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