Forty-five states have begun their 2023 state legislative sessions. At the start of these sessions, legislators typically select new House and Senate leadership. So far, at least 266 leadership elections have taken place. Here’s a rundown of what we know so far:
Legislators re-elected 158 leaders in 38 states. Legislators elected 108 new leaders. Of those changes in leadership, 55 occurred in states with Republican trifectas, 31 occurred in states with Democratic trifectas, and the remaining 22 changes happened in states with divided government.
Thirty-nine Senate president elections have taken place as of this writing. Out of those, 13 Senate presidents changed. A Senate president presides over legislative sessions and ensures that members of the chamber abide by procedural rules.
Just one Senate president change resulted in a change in party leadership. In Minnesota, whose divided government became a Democratic trifecta as a result of the 2022 elections, Democratic legislators elected Bobby Joe Champion as Senate president, replacing Republican Rep. David Osmek.
Out of all the Senate president elections, 12 Democratic presidents remained the same, and three changed leaders. On the Republican side, 14 Republican presidents remained the same while nine changed leaders.
Forty-three House speaker elections have taken place. Out of those, 14 speakers of the House changed. A House speaker serves as the chief spokesman for the lower chamber, presides over legislative sessions, directs the legislative process, and performs additional administrative and procedural duties.
Two House speaker changes resulted in a change in party leadership. In Michigan, Republican House Speaker Jason Wentworth was replaced by Democratic Rep. Joseph Tate. In Pennsylvania, Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler was replaced by Democratic Rep. Mark Rozzi. Michigan’s divided government became a Democratic trifecta as a result of the 2022 elections. Pennsylvania is under divided government.
Out of all the House speaker elections, 13 Democratic speakers remained the same, and three changed leaders. On the Republican side, 15 speakers remained the same while 10 changed leaders.