With the announcements this week of two long-time Democratic legislators not running for re-election, and with previous retirements known, the 2013 Legislature will look much different than the 2011 and 2012 bodies.
And the changes listed below don’t count any House or Senate incumbents who may run this year, but be defeated, either not winning their party’s nomination or booted out in the final election.
A quarter of the 29-member Senate sworn in two years ago will be gone come the next Legislature.
One out of four 2011 senators will not be in the 2013 body.
The 75-member House starts the 2012 election cycle down 19 percent in membership from the 2011 make-up.
Nearly one out of five representatives who served in the House over the last two years won’t be back in 2013.
In addition, the below leavings don’t include any last-minute retirements.
The candidate filing deadline is 5 p.m. March 15.
Every general election one or two House or Senate incumbents wait until just before the candidate filing deadline to announce they aren’t running again.
Sometimes this is done as a political strategy – the incumbent has a successor in mind and keeping mum may help his friend by reducing challengers.
The officeholder, in effect, gets to name his replacement if he stalls out other possible intra-party hopefuls by saying he’s going to run again, only to bow out as his hand-picked successor files just before the candidate deadline.
In any case, after each election there is always natural turnover in the 104-member, part-time Legislature. (All 75 House members are up every two years, half of the 29-member Senate face election every two years.)
Most turnover comes not through incumbents losing re-election bids, however. By far most legislators leave through retirements, resignations or deaths.
Historically speaking, between 85 percent and 90 percent of incumbent lawmakers who seek re-election win.
A number of new faces will come next year because so many legislators are running for higher office.
The House members leaving – either they have said they aren’t running again, have already resigned to run for higher office, or were placed through the 2011 redistricting into new seats shared by another incumbent -- include:
-- House Minority Leader David Litvack, D-Salt Lake, known for his calm style and willingness to work with the Republican majority, said Monday he won’t run again. He cited personal reasons, saying he’s missing important family time with his young children.
Litvack was first elected from his Central City district in 2000 and has been the minority leader the last four years.
-- Rep. Mike Morley, R-Spanish Fork, elected in 2002, is retiring.
-- Rep. Todd Kiser, R-Sandy, elected in 2002, is retiring.
-- Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, elected in 2006, is running for the new 4th Congressional District this year.
-- Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, elected in 2008, is running for the U.S. Senate this year.
-- Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, elected in 2006, is running for governor this year.
-- Rep. Wayne Harper, R-West Jordan, elected 1996, is running for the state Senate next year in a seat opened by the retirement of Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville.
-- Rep. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, elected in 2008, is running for the state Senate. When the late Sen. Dennis Stowell, R-Parowan, passed away last year, Vickers sought appointment to the Senate District 28 seat. But GOP delegates picked Sen. Casey Anderson, R-Cedar City. After redistricting, says Vickers, the Senate seat went from six counties down to three, one being Beaver County. Vickers tells UtahPolicy that he was raised in Beaver and believes he will have a better chance with the new District 28 delegates in 2012.
-- Rep. Craig Frank, R-Pleasant Grove, elected in 2002. Frank is running for the Utah Senate this year. Frank’s political history is complicated. He resigned his House seat just before the 2011 Legislature after finding out he didn’t live in his district, a legal requirement. His replacement, former Rep. Holly Richardson, R-Pleasant Grove, resigned in December to help run former Sen. Dan Lilgenquist’s U.S. Senate campaign. Frank was reappointed to his seat. But because he moved recently, he can’t run again for his new, redrawn House seat because he hasn’t lived in it for six months, as law requires. So he’s challenging long-time Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, this year.
-- Former Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, resigned last year to run for the new 4th Congressional District.
-- Former House Speaker Dave Clark, R-Santa Clara, resigned last year to run for the newly-drawn 2nd Congressional District.
-- Former Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, resigned last year to take a top administrative post in Gov. Gary Herbert’s administration.
-- Reps. Fred Cox, R-West Valley, and Janice Fisher, D-West Valley, in the 2011 redistricting were put in the same district. Both are running this year, but only one can return.
-- Reps. Brad Galvez, R-West Haven, and Lee Perry, R-Perry, in redistricting were put in the same district. Both are running but only one can return.
-- Sen. Karen Morgan, R-Cottonwood Heights, the minority party’s minority whip, also said Monday she will retire. First elected to the House in 1998, Morgan moved up to the Senate in 2008.
Morgan says she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren.
Last summer Morgan was all but assured to run for governor this year, but over time – and especially after it became clear that retired U.S. Army general Peter Cook was getting in the Democratic race -- Morgan stepped away from that race.
-- Senate President Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, has already said he won’t run this year. He was first elected to the House in 1986, moving up to the Senate in 1996. He’s been the president for four years.
-- Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake, was first elected to the House in 2002. He moved up to the Senate in 2006. Romero is running for Salt Lake County mayor. His Senate term is up in 2012, so whether he wins the mayorship or not, he won’t be back in the Senate.
-- Senate Caucus Manager Ben McAdams, D-Salt Lake, was appointed in 2009, elected in 2010. McAdams is running for Salt Lake County mayor this year. His Senate four-year term is not up until 2014. If he wins the mayorship, he’ll resign and be gone for the 2013 Senate. But if he loses his mayor’s race – either to Romero in the Democratic nomination race or in the general election -- McAdams can still return in 2013 as a senator.
-- Sen. Dennis Stowell, R-Parowan, died in office last year.
-- Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, resigned his office last year.
-- Sen. Dan Liljenquist, R-Bountiful, resigned his office in December to run for the U.S. Senate this year.
Of course, there have been appointed replacements for the last three men, but those new senators have yet to face the ballot box.
The Senate will also have another new face in 2013, the candidate who wins in the new, unoccupied southern Utah County Senate district created in the 2011 redistricting.
Since Utah County hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Utah Senate since the 1980s, it’s very likely the new face will be a Republican.
If McAdams doesn’t return to the Senate, three of seven Democratic senators won’t be back in 2013.
That opens the way for some House Democrats, who have not yet announced, to file for the state Senate this year
before the March 15 deadline, and that would add to the number of House members who won’t be back in that body in 2013.
Likewise, a current GOP House member from southern Utah County could decide to run for the new Senate district (no incumbent) created there as part of redistricting.
That also would add to the number of House members, listed above, who won’t be back next year.