Four Reps Departing

As candidate filing deadlines begin to approach in the early primary states, we are seeing 2024 electoral decisions being made. Four House members, two Republicans and two Democrats, announced that they will not seek re-election next year. All have different reasons for leaving the House.


New York US Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) clarified over the weekend that he will resign from the House in February in order to become president of the Shea’s Performing Arts Center in his home city of Buffalo. Rep. Higgins was first elected in 2004 from a 26th District that includes two-thirds of Erie County and almost three-quarters of Niagara County.

The Democrats should have little trouble holding this district, though a new open seat in western New York could influence what is likely a second round of redistricting to come early next year. Therefore, the confines of the Buffalo anchored district could change.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates NY-26 as D+18. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates a 61.4D – 36.1R partisan lean. President Joe Biden recorded a 61-37% win here in the 2020 election. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks this district as the 78th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference.


Six-term Ohio US Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Hillsboro) announced via video message on Friday that he will not be seeking re-election in 2024. Mr. Wenstrup first came to Congress in 2012 when he scored an upset victory over then-Rep. Jean Schmidt in that year’s Republican primary. The Congressman has not been seriously challenged since.

Ohio’s 2nd District contains all or parts of 16 southern counties that stretch from the eastern Cincinnati suburbs all the way to West Virginia. Republicans will have little trouble holding the district as an open seat and Mr. Wenstrup’s successor will be determined in the March 19th GOP primary. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates OH-2 as R+49. Former President Trump carried the seat in 2020 with a whopping 72-27% majority. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks OH-2 as the 13th safest Republican seat in the GOP Conference.


Veteran Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Pilot Point), from a 26th District that covers three-quarters of Denton County, all of Cooke, and two-thirds of Wise County in North Texas, announced that he will not seek an 11th term in Congress. Dr. Burgess, who practiced medicine for three decades before winning his congressional seat in 2004, will retire from politics at the end of his current term.

The seats is safely Republican, and we can expect a crowded GOP candidate field. We won’t have to wait long to see who decides to run. The Texas candidate filing deadline concludes on December 11th.


Three-term US Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) announced yesterday that she will run for Governor of Virginia in 2025. The move means she will not seek re-election to the House in 2024.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), under Virginia’s unique one-term limit law for its state chief executives, is ineligible to seek re-election. Therefore, the position will again be open for the 2025 election. Rep. Spanberger reports over $1.4 million cash-on-hand in her congressional committee, all of which is transferrable to a Virginia state campaign.

Without Ms. Spanberger seeking re-election, the 7th District becomes highly competitive in the general election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+2. Dave’s Redistricting App calculates 51.1D – 47.2R partisan lean. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks VA-7 as the 17th most vulnerable seat in the Democratic Conference.

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