The past two election cycles have sent a lot of veteran state lawmakers packing. First and second term representatives will make up more than half of the Wisconsin State Assembly next year.
Barring recounts in some close elections, 25 members of the Wisconsin State Assembly will be freshmen next year. And 29 representatives will be serving in just their second session. Altogether it means that when the legislature convenes next year, 54 members of the 99 member State Assembly will have only ever served under Governor Walker's administration.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Political Science Professor Mordecai Lee was a state representative in the 70s and a State Senator in the 80s. He never remembers turnover like that, and says it should be interesting to watch.
"The good news is that there are some people with fresh ideas that aren't encumbered by the past," he says. "The bad news is that they don't quite have an understanding of how the legislature works. They haven't been assimilated into it. And there aren't that many people left to pass on the institutional history to them."
The influx of freshmen this year can be largely attributable to a new legislative map that prompted some lawmakers to retire and led to others' defeats. Thirteen Democrats will serve their first terms along with 12 Republicans.
The large sophomore class owes its numbers in part to the Republican wave of 2010. Twenty-two of the 29 second-term representatives are Republicans.