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Leading House Democrat Shocks With Sudden Retirement Announcement

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A leading House Democrat serving in her sixth term has decided to call it quits, according to a local report.

Rep. Annie Kuster told WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire, that she’ll go ahead and finish out her current term, but she’ll be leaving before the new Congress is sworn in next January.

“The congresswoman’s announcement sends a shockwave through New Hampshire politics, creating an open race for the 2nd Congressional District seat she has held since 2013,” the outlet reported.

“NH-02 covers a wide and diverse swath of the state from Nashua to the Canadian border, and several Democrats may step forward to run,” it explained.

According to the report, Kuster is a political “centrist” who is “pro-business,” two traits not much in common with the remainder of the Democratic Party. She is currently the leader of the congressional group New Democrat Coalition.

“I spent a lot of time with my family this winter, and we did a lot of skiing and traveling, and I’ve realized I have a life, and my husband Brad has been very patient,” she told WMUR. “I want to spend time with my sons as they’re heading into their married lives — and hopefully grandchildren on the way one day,” she added.

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“And I really want to lean in on helping my colleagues and these fantastic candidates that we’ve recruited,” she told the outlet.

Kuster also talked about her legislative priorities.

“As founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, I have pushed for comprehensive legislation to address this crisis and expand access to treatment and recovery services,” Kuster said, according to WMUR.

“As founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, I have worked across the aisle to tackle the scourge of sexual violence and equip survivors with the support they need to recover,” she added.

The congresswoman has also posted a retirement announcement to her congressional web page, a portion of which says:

“When I was first elected to Congress in 2012, I promised to bring a new approach to Washington. Over the past 12 years, I have been proud to do just that. As founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, I have pushed for comprehensive legislation to address this crisis and expand access to treatment and recovery services. As founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence, I have worked across the aisle to tackle the scourge of sexual violence and equip survivors with the support they need to recover. As chair of the New Democrat Coalition, I have helped bridge the partisan divide and find commonsense solutions to the biggest issues facing our country. While there is still more to be done, we have made great progress.

“This work has been many things — rewarding, frustrating, inspiring, and challenging. But, more than anything, it has been an honor. As your congresswoman, I have had the chance to meet directly with the people who make New Hampshire such an incredible place to live, work, and raise a family. From our small business owners to our first responders, farmers, teachers, veterans, health care providers, seniors, and local leaders, every conversation has been insightful and has guided my efforts in Washington.

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“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. 

“I will continue serving the people of New Hampshire until the end of my term in January 2025. In the months ahead, I will use my time to help Congress build on the progress we have made and finish the job for the American people. I will continue to lead the New Democrat Coalition to help pass comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to move our country forward.

“Thank you to the people of New Hampshire’s Second District who have trusted me to represent them for the past 12 years. Thank you to my husband Brad, my sons Zach and Travis, and my family for always standing with me through this journey, every step of the way. It’s the honor of my life to represent my home and my community, bringing our Granite State values and the voices of New Hampshire’s Second District to Congress. 

“Onward!”

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