Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Kuster's Last Stand

Democrats got some bad news yesterday when Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) announced that she will not run for reelection in November. Kuster said that she would finish out her term, though. She didn't give a real reason for retiring, other than that she never planned to stay in Congress forever. She is 67. The district, which covers the less-populous western two-thirds of New Hampshire, including Nashua and Concord, is D+2, which means it will be a competitive race in November.

Kuster comes from a political family. Her great-grandfather, John McLane, was governor of New Hampshire from 1905 to 1907. Her father, Malcolm McLane, was mayor of Concord. Her mother, Susan McLane, was a state senator. Annie got her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth and her J.D. from Georgetown. She worked as a lobbyist in New Hampshire for 20 years before being elected to the House. Among other things, she lobbied on behalf of Hoffman-LaRoche to kill a bill that would have banned rohypnol, which is often used for date rapes. That is a bit surprising since she said that she had been sexually assaulted as a college student. Once in Congress, she fought against the National Security Agency, which had secretly tapped into data centers run by Google and Yahoo and was siphoning off data about Americans who had not committed any crimes. In D.C. she lives with her friend, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, and other House members.

The race to replace her started instantly. Five Republicans, namely Mark Kilbane, Robin Ng, Jason Riddle, Paul Wagner and Lily William, have already jumped in. So far, no Democrats have announced, but surely a number will before long. (V)

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