At Least 40 Congressional Incumbents Will Not Seek Reelection

Reps. Wiley Nickel (D-SC) and Drew Ferguson (R-GA) announced on Thursday that they would not be seeking reelection in 2024. Their departures highlight the growing trend amongst members of both parties who have decided not to pursue reelection in 2024.

According to Ballotpedia, “As of Dec. 14, 2023, 40 members of Congress—seven members of the U.S. Senate and 33 members of the U.S. House—announced they would not seek re-election in 2024.”

Of the 33 members of the House not seeking reelection, 22 are Democrats and 11 are Republicans while five of the seven Senators are also Democrats.

Ferguson never gave a specific reason for retiring, but he did allude to spending more time with family. In a statement, Ferguson said he and his wife “look forward to spending more time with our children and grandchildren while continuing to work to keep Georgia the best state in America to live and do business.”

Nickel was a first-term congressman who is foregoing reelection after his district was redrawn. He also has his sights set on a higher office as he plans to run for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).

“Republicans have rigged the system to favor themselves and I don’t have a path to run for re-election in the 13th district,” Nickel said in a release. “But I’m not giving up and neither should you.”

Reps. Kathy Manning (D-NC) and Jeff Jackson (D-NC) are also foregoing reelection campaigns due to gerrymandering in the state. North Carolina’s 14 House seats are currently split 7-7 but many people expect Republicans to win at least one of the seats mentioned above in 2024.

The 2024 election is just less than a year away, and already 40 members of Congress have announced they will not run for reelection. November alone saw 13 Senators and Representatives announce that they would not run, the highest number in one month in more than a decade.

Retirements, discontentment, and a desire to run for a different office are all reasons that people do not run for reelection, but to have this many in one election cycle could point to a deeper issue.

According to Axios, ”Lawmakers say that the uptick in departures is a perfect storm of recent chaos, longstanding frustrations and expected retirements.”