With a new year, comes a new batch of state legislators. Thousands of legislators will be sworn into office this month. In the November 2018 general elections, 322 incumbent legislators were defeated. Including the incumbents who retired or were defeated in primaries, the 2019 legislative sessions will see 1,599 new state legislators taking their oath of office. The new legislators reflect 21.7% of all state legislators nationwide.
Today, seven states are swearing in legislators:
Three fun facts about state legislators being sworn in this term:
1) Fifteen states have term limits, accounting for 1,930 of all state legislative seats (26.1%).
2) Two legislators have been in office since the 1960s.
The longest-serving state representative, Republican Tom Craddick, began his tenure in 1969. This is his 50th year in the Texas State Legislature. He is one of two state legislators elected in the 1960s.
The other is Fred Risser, Democratic state senator from Wisconsin.
3) More than 15 percent of state legislators were elected before the year 2000:
1960s: 2 (<0.1%)
1970s: 41 (<0.1%)
1980s: 101 (1.3%)
1990s: 984 (13.3%)
The remaining 7,383 legislators (84.7%) were all elected in the 21st century.
About the author
Geoff Pallay is editor-in-chief at Ballotpedia and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org