Mass Leadership Exit Hits Nation’s State Legislatures

( Almost one-third of the top state lawmakers in the country’s 99 state legislatures will be quitting this year, putting 2022 on par with previous election years.

According to tracking maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least thirty state House Speakers, Senate presidents, and majority leaders have either resigned or announced their retirement at the end of their current terms.

But before you think this is somehow unique and a sign of a Red Wave, it should be noted that turnover of this kind is not unusual during an election year, especially among leaders who’ve been in office for years.

In 2020, twenty House Speakers and Senate presidents quit while another four lost primary elections. During the midterm election in 2018, 35 top state lawmakers left office.

According to NCSL’s Stacy Householder, director of leadership, training, and international programs, the 2022 turnover rate is on par with previous election years.

Oregon Senate President Democrat Peter Courtney and House Speaker Democrat Tina Kotek are both leaving this year. Kotek resigned to run for Oregon governor.

Like Oregon, the state legislatures of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, and Montana will also have new leadership teams next year after their House speakers and top senators announced their exit.

Like Kotek, Pennsylvania Senate President Republican Jake Corman is leaving his post to run for governor.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (RINO) is stepping down to run for agriculture commissioner while in New Hampshire, Senate President Republican Chuck Morse is running for the US Senate against incumbent Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan.

Nevada Assembly Speaker Democrat Jason Frierson is quitting because President Biden nominated him to serve as Nevada’s US Attorney.

As NCSL’s Stacy Householder explained, state legislatures “are constantly changing,” giving opportunities for new people to step into leadership positions.

The same can’t be said for the US Congress. Those guys stay in leadership for decades.