Updated May 2, 2022 - Politics

Tracker: Minnesota Legislature's retirement count grows

Minnesota state legislator retirements
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 swelling ahead of the 2022 election.

What's happening: At least 34 state legislators have already announced that they won't seek re-election in November, per announcements and a tally kept by the Legislative Reference Library.

  • State Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-Breezy Point) became the latest lawmaker to announce a retirement on Monday. The four-term senator, who chairs an environmental committee, had been drawn into the same district as a fellow Republican incumbent.

Plus: More than 20 legislators, including former Senate leader Paul Gazelka, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rena Moran are seeking other offices.

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

Driving the departures: The decennial redrawing of district lines, known as redistricting, 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 several potential Democratic rivals.

What to watch: A decision deadline is looming for those still on the fence. The official filing period for the August primary opens May 17 and runs until May 31, at 5pm.

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


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