17 Representatives Are Leaving State Assembly This Year

Past Three Cycles Have All Featured High Turnover Rates

Rep. Erik Severson is the latest member of the Assembly who has announced they won't pursue re-election. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin State Legislature.

A total of 17 state representatives have now announced they do not plan to seek re-election, marking the third session in a row with high turnover in the Assembly.

Rep. Erik Severson, R- Star Prairie, first elected in 2010, is the latest to announce he won’t seek reelection. He follows Rep. Sandy Pasch, D-Shorewood, who announced on Friday that she was leaving the Legislature.

Of the 17 representatives not seeking re-election, 11 are Republicans. Some are leaving to run for higher office while some are getting out of politics altogether.

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The departures this year follow 20 from the last election cycle and 19 from the one before, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB). These numbers only account for lawmakers leaving the Assembly voluntarily, and don’t count legislators who might not come back if they lose their re-election bids in November.

In other words, for the past three sessions, roughly a fifth of the state Assembly has decided to call it quits. To put that in context, the LRB says the last time 20 representatives announced they would not seek re-election was in 1984.

Turnover in the Senate hasn’t been quite so rapid, due in part to its four-year terms. This year, four senators are voluntarily leaving that body.