Retirements and likely incumbent defeats mean lots of new legislative faces next year

Retirements from the Minnesota Legislature mean at least 20 percent of the seats will be held by new people next year. And that doesn’t count the usual crop of challengers who are likely to beat incumbents in November’s election.

Rachel Stassen-Berger at the Strib tallied the numbers and reports:

So far, 24 Republicans and 17 DFLers have said they won’t be back in January, but the tally of voluntary retirements won’t be definitive until June 5. That’s when candidates must have their paperwork on file with the secretary of state.

Experience takes a hit, too, she notes, with the loss of:

legislators who have shaped Minnesota’s policies for decades. Among them: Senate Finance Chairwoman Claire Robling, R-Jordan; bonding expert Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon; Sen. Gen Olson, of Minnetrista, long a GOP lead on education; Rep. Mindy Greiling, of Roseville, long a DFL lead on education; Minneapolis maven DFL Sen. Linda Higgins and DFL Rep. Tom Rukavina, who has represented part of the Iron Range for a generation.

And there will be more “forced” retirements:

The rate of turnover is sure to grow. In the past decade, voters opted for new faces in about a third of the House and Senate seats.

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