Growing number of Minnesota legislators to retire ahead of 2022 election

·1 min read

Data: Minnesota Legislative Reference Library; Note: Senators were not up for re-election in 2014 or 2018; Five legislators intending to run for other offices excluded in 2022 for now; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

An expected wave of state legislative retirements is starting to swell ahead of the 2022 election.

What's happening: Nine state legislators have already announced that they won't seek re-election in November, per a tally kept by the Legislative Reference Library.

  • DFL state Rep. Jim Davnie became the most recent addition to the retirement list Wednesday, when he announced that he will not seek re-election after a two-decade run representing a South Minneapolis district

  • Five more, including former Senate leader Paul Gazelka and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, are seeking other offices.

Why it matters: Retirements create open races that could reshape the Legislature with new voices.

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Driving the departures: The decennial redrawing of political maps, now underway, traditionally leads to retirements in large numbers.

  • In 2012, after the last redistricting process, 48 of 201 state legislators declined to run again.

Between the lines: In addition to retirements, some longtime legislators are already facing primary challenges.

  • Sen. Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul), for example, has attracted three potential Democratic rivals.

What to watch: Maps that put incumbents in the same district could lead to even more exits.

Editor's note: This post and chart will be updated as more retirements are announced.

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