Some lawmakers leave the Legislature to pursue a career or to transition into a different branch of government, but some simply meet defeat at the polls.
And many of those try to return.
Ten DFLers and one Republican successfully fit the bill this cycle. (You can learn more about them and the other 2013 legislators by checking out our new interactive graphic here.)
Eight of the DFLers were voted out of office during the 2010 Republican wave that swept Democrats out of legislative control for the first time in 40 years. Now they’re back with a record of their own — matched legislative majorities with a DFL governor for the first time in roughly two decades.
There are eight Democrats returning to the House:
- Connie Bernardy of Fridley (District 41A). She served from 2001 to 2006.
- David Bly of Northfield (20B). Served 2007-10.
- Ron Erhardt of Edina (49A). Served from 1991 to 2008 as a Republican.
- Tim Faust of Hinckley (11B). Served 2007-10.
- Sandra Masin of Eagan (51A). Served 2007-10.
- Will Morgan of Burnsville (56B). Served 2007-10.
- Jerry Newton of Coon Rapids (37A). Served 2009-10.
- Paul Rosenthal of Edina (49B). Served 2009-10.
And three in the Senate:
- Jim Carlson of Eagan (District 51). Served 2007-10.
- Kevin Dahle of Northfield (20). Served 2008-10.
- Carrie Ruud of Breezy Point(10). The lone Republican among the 11 returnees, she served from 2003-06.
Democrats like Jim Carlson, who beat first-term Republican Sen. Ted Daley in District 51 in Eagan, are heading back to the Capitol.
“It was a crushing blow, and it wasn’t without me being somewhat prepared for it,” Carlson said about his 2010 defeat, noting that his caucus and friendly outside groups seemed unprepared for the results.
The defeat charged up Carlson, who is determined to pay back the school fund shift used last time to help balance the budget.
“We’re running like we’re 5 points behind,” Carlson said in late September, noting that there was “way too much overconfidence by the DFL” in 2010. This time, Democrats took all three seats in District 51.
Returning Rep. David Bly said the same problems plagued him when Republican Kelby Woodard ousted him in 2010 by about 30 votes. Redistricting shifted Woodard to a new area, and Bly easily defeated his opponent Brian Wermerskirchen by 14 points this cycle.
Bly said he didn’t notice Tea Party angst this time when he was door-knocking and instead found voters focused on getting rid of extreme politics. He also said his new district more heavily favored a Democrat, which “made it clear to me that this was something worth trying to do.”
Carlson said he looks forward to returning to St. Paul as a stronger lawmaker than he would have been for the 2011 session.
“We didn’t get everything done,” he said of his previous stint in the Senate from 2007 through 2010. “My whole effort for running was to give back to my community.”