2024 Election

House Democrat announces plan to resign in early 2024

A House Democrat announced Sunday that he would resign from Congress early next year, choosing to retire early from a two-year term and criticizing the current state of politics at a time when Republicans control the House.

Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), who represents Buffalo and the surrounding area who leans heavily toward the Democratic Party, revealed his plans to resign in February, 19 years after he first joined the House.

The congressman did not immediately share what he plans to do next, but supposedly leaving to become president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. He is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee as well as the House Budget Committee.

“I have never stayed on Capitol Hill, I go there with the mission to change my community and I return home on the first flight every week because being in Western New York, talking to the people here, urgently reminds me of what they sent me . to Washington to do it,” Higgins said in a statement.

“Too often elected officials follow the twenty-four-hour news cycle, focusing on the issue of the day, and when you look back there is little to show for it,” he added. “We’ve deliberately taken a different approach: We’ve committed to finding focus, fighting for what really matters in people’s lives here in Western New York, and getting things done.”

After touting some accomplishments, Higgins also said, “I’ve always been a little impatient and that trait has helped us make notable progress for this community. But the pace in Washington, DC can be slow and frustrating, especially this year. Therefore, after careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to leave Congress and explore other ways I can develop and serve Buffalo and Western New York.”

Higgins’ departure, which comes at a time when Republicans narrowly control the House, will spark a special election scheduled by New York Governor, who is now Democrat Kathy Hochul, for someone to serve out the remainder of the congressman’s two-year term. Elections for a full term will take place next November.


“Brian Higgins defined what public service is all about,” Hochul saying in a post for X. “The projects he undertook against all odds will be part of his legacy. Friends from his days on the Buffalo City Council and especially during our days in Congress, I know he will take Shea to the next level.”

Other House lawmakers have announced plans in recent days not to seek re-election in 2024, including Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).

Speculation has already begun about who might campaign to fill the seat vacated by Higgins.

WKBW, local ABC affiliate reported Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, State Sen. Tim Kennedy, State Sen. Sean Ryan and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz are among the Democrats who could be in the race.

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