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Many lawmakers decline to seek reelection, leaving lots of open 2024 races for Congress

In total, 29 US House members and seven senators have announced they won't be seeking reelection.

Published: December 4, 2023 12:06am

Many lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle and both chambers of Congress have announced this year that they are not planning to seek reelection in 2024, creating wide-open races in several districts. 

Some of those retiring members include Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Az., Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., and Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Tx. 

In total, 29 U.S. House members have announced they won't be seeking reelection as of Dec. 1, according to BallotPedia.  

There are seven U.S. senators not seeking reelection, including five Democrats and two Republicans.

In the House, eight Democrats and six Republicans are retiring from public office altogether, while the others are running for different offices.

"In terms of the race for the majority, the vast majority of retirements are in safe seats and will have no bearing on the general election (indeed, the vast majority of all the seats, period, are not two-party competitive)," Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, told Just the News.

"That said, Democrats have more competitive open seats to defend they have four we rate as Toss-ups (CA-47, MI-7, MI-8) or Leans Democratic (VA-7), while Republicans are just defending one (NY-3, where there will be a Toss-up special election following the expulsion of George Santos). Incumbency is not as electorally valuable as it used to be but Democrats do have a bit more of a burden in defending open seats, at least for now. Surely there will be more retirements to come," he added. 

An anonymous GOP lawmaker told Axios that part of the reason so many lawmakers are leaving is that some "are simply tired."

Some members, such as Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Oh., have cited wanting to spend more time with family as the reason for not seeking reelection.

Turning Point Action Iowa Field Representative Gloria Senecal cited two main reasons that many are not seeking reelection.

"I think there are two separate reasons for this," Senecal said. "One, people are getting older and they see better ways to spend their time. Two, around the country there is a lot of dissatisfaction with everything going on in the country. People think that no matter who they vote for, they're going to get gypped. So I think some of these people know they won't get reelected so they just step down."

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