Three Democratic senators announced their intentions to run for another term in 2024 — Virginia's Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts and New York's Kirsten Gillibrand.
Kaine announced his decision during a Friday morning news conference that came after a day of speculation about his political future. The senator, and 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee, has been public about struggles with long Covid after he first tested positive in March 2020, adding to questions about his political future.
"I have been really grappling with what to do with respect to my time in the Senate, and I'm very happy to announce that I'm going to run for a third term in the Senate," he said.
"I feel like I have so much more to do."
Warren reiterated she's running during a Thursday interview with Boston's WBZTV, telling reporters: "I am in this fight."
"I will make the formal announcement about my re-election sometime soon, and I will be out doing the town halls … that I love to do,” she added.
And Gillibrand told the New York Times on Thursday she's running again too, adding that "I think my ability to deliver for our state has never been greater."
Democrats have to defend 23 seats in 2024, including two where independents caucus with their party, compared to 11 seats held by Republicans.
Those numbers alone are stark, but they undersell how difficult the Senate map is for Democrats next year — three of their incumbents are in states former President Donald Trump won in 2020 and another five are from states President Joe Biden won by less than 4 points that year.
When asked by NBC News about whether any concern about the Democratic Senate map weighed on his decision, Kaine said that his colleagues in the Senate were "both encouraged" him but also "gave me space and time" to decide.
And later, he added that "the Senate dynamic in '24 is a challenging dynamic."
"We do have a tough map in '24 because I think out of the 33, 34 seats, we're defending two-thirds and the places where we're playing offense are not necessarily the most favorably territory."