2024 Election Shakeup: Legislators Step Aside, Fierce Contests Ensue!

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 12/04/2023
In the current year, numerous legislators hailing from various political affiliations and serving in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have made public declarations stating their intention to not pursue reelection in the upcoming year of 2024. Consequently, this development has resulted in the emergence of highly competitive electoral contests in multiple districts. 

Several retiring members of Congress have recently made headlines. Among them are Representative Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, Representative Debbie Lesko, a Republican from Arizona, Representative Tony Cárdenas, a Democrat from California, and Representative Michael Burgess, a Republican from Texas. 

As of December 1st, BallotPedia has reported that a total of 29 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have made public announcements stating their decision to not seek reelection.  

Currently, there are a total of seven United States senators who have made the decision to not seek reelection in the upcoming term. Among these senators, five belong to the Democratic Party, while the remaining two are affiliated with the Republican Party.

In the House, a total of fourteen members are choosing to step away from their positions in public office. Among them, eight are Democrats and six are Republicans. These individuals have made the decision to retire from their current roles and will not be seeking any other political positions. Meanwhile, the remaining members who are not retiring have opted to run for various other offices, indicating their continued involvement in the political arena.

According to Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, the retirements in the race for the majority primarily occur in safe seats. These retirements are unlikely to have any impact on the general election. In fact, the majority of seats, regardless of party affiliation, are not competitive between just two parties.

In terms of competitive open seats, Democrats face a greater challenge as compared to Republicans. Specifically, Democrats have four seats that we classify as either Toss-ups (CA-47, MI-7, MI-8) or Leans Democratic (VA-7). On the other hand, Republicans only have one seat to defend (NY-3), which will be subject to a Toss-up special election due to the expulsion of George Santos. The electoral value of incumbency has diminished over time, although Democrats currently face a slightly greater challenge in defending open seats. He added that there will surely be more retirements to come. 

According to an anonymous GOP lawmaker who spoke to Axios, a contributing factor behind the increasing number of lawmakers leaving their positions is a sense of exhaustion among some individuals.


Certain individuals, including Representative Brad Wenstrup from Ohio, have expressed their decision to not seek reelection, citing a desire to allocate more time towards their family.

There are two primary reasons that have been identified by Turning Point Action Iowa Field Representative Gloria Senecal as contributing to the decision of many individuals to not seek reelection.

According to Senecal, there are two distinct reasons for this. Firstly, it is evident that as individuals age, their perspectives on how to allocate their time undergo a transformation. Across the nation, there exists a significant level of discontentment with the current state of affairs within the country. The perception among individuals is that regardless of the candidate they choose to vote for, they believe they will be subjected to unfair treatment or deceived in some way. It is observed that certain individuals in positions of power may choose to resign from their positions due to the realization that their chances of being reelected are slim.


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