Home Census 50 years of MN lawmakers retiring, in part because of the census

50 years of MN lawmakers retiring, in part because of the census

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When the 2022 Minnesota Legislature adjourned for the year on Monday, 51 lawmakers — more than one in five members — cast their final votes in the House and Senate, at least in their current offices.

The 51 retirements mark the largest voluntary turnover in the Legislative Assembly since 1972, when 54 incumbents retired, according to records from the Legislative Reference Library.

Why the big turnover? The main reason is redistricting. The legislature typically experiences the most turnover during election years when incumbents are placed in new districts by court-ordered redistricting maps that reflect population changes.

This year, 22 lawmakers were “twinned” in constituencies with other incumbents. So one of them had to either retire, move to a district with a vacant seat, or face a seated colleague.

A decade ago, 36 state lawmakers retired after redistricting. In 1982, about 40 legislators relinquished their seats. These elections immediately followed a new census at the beginning of a decade, such as this one.

The current crop of retirees includes 16 of 72 women legislators, but four of the seven women giving up House seats are running for the Senate.

Retirements will not result in significant benefits for either major political party. In the Senate, 10 DFLers and eight Republicans are withdrawing, as well as two independents. Two senators are seeking other positions this year.

In the House, 14 Republicans and 12 DFLs are not seeking re-election. But nine of those House Republican members are running for Senate seats this fall, compared to just three Democrats seeking to switch chambers.

Among the lawmakers leaving the Capitol involuntarily are the Senses. Michelle Benson and Paul Gazelka, who resigned to seek Republican gubernatorial endorsement, which went to former Sen. Scott Jensen this month.

SENATE RETREATS

  • Tom Bakk, I-Cook
  • Michelle Benson, Lake R-Ham
  • Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove (candidate for Washington County Commissioner)
  • Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley
  • Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center
  • Kent Eken, DFL-Audubon
  • Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake
  • Michael Goggin, R-Red Winger
  • Jerry Newton, DFL-Coon Rapids (for a House seat)
  • Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria
  • Ann Johnson Stewart, DFL-Wayzata
  • Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury
  • Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake
  • Melisa Lopez Franzen, DFL-Edina
  • Scott Newman, R Hutchinson
  • David Osmek, R-Mound
  • Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont
  • David Tomassoni, I-Chisholm
  • Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-Minneapolis
  • Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood

RETIREMENT HOME

  • Tony Albright, R-Lac Prior
  • Connie Bernardy, DFL-New Brighton
  • Shelley Christensen, DFL-Stillwater
  • Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis
  • Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake
  • Todd Lippert, DFL-Northfield
  • Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin
  • Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul
  • Paul Marquardt, DFL-Glyndon
  • Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg
  • John Poston, R-Lakeshore
  • Steve Sandell, DFL-Woodbury
  • Mike Sundin, DFL-Esko

LEAVING HOME, SEARCHING FOR A SENATE SEAT

  • Ami Wazlawik, DFL-Township of White Bear
  • Cal Bahr, R-East Bethel
  • Liz Boldon, DFL-Rochester
  • Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa
  • Steve Green, R-Fosston
  • Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe
  • Barb Haley, R-Red Wing
  • Tony Jurgens, R-Cottage Grove
  • Eric Lucero, R-Dayton
  • Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven
  • Jordan Rasmussen, R-Fergus Falls
  • Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud
  • Tou Xiong, DFL-Maplewood

LEAVE HOME, SEEK ANOTHER OFFICE

  • Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul (Ramsey County Commission)
  • Jeremy Munson, R-Lake Crystal (Congress, 1st District)
  • Nels Pierson, R-Rochester, (Congress, 1st District)
  • Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, (Congress, 8th district)
  • Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley (Hennepin County Attorney)