New legislators present fresh opportunities for state government affairs professionals.
We don’t have accurate press reports on new lawmakers in every state, so we have to do some back-of-the-envelope math to determine how many there are in the coming state legislative sessions.
Roughly 20% of state legislators in 2023 are freshmen. In other words, roughly one out of every five state lawmakers are new to the chamber this year.
New legislators present fresh opportunities for state government affairs professionals as they have likely not heard directly from your industry before. So a common question we’ve received as lawmakers return to state capitols to begin fresh legislative sessions is, “how many new legislators are there?”
We don’t have accurate press reports on new lawmakers in every state, so we have to do some back-of-the-envelope math. We knew before election day that incumbents in 1,048 seats were term-limited or decided not to seek re-election. Another 230 incumbents lost primary elections earlier in the year. After election day, we learned that only 173 incumbents lost to challengers during the general election, which is the lowest number in at least a decade. That’s 1,451 total seats where an incumbent either didn’t run, lost a primary, or lost the general election. Which is roughly 20 percent of the total 7,386 state legislative seats.
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