Turnover Brings Change to the Legislature in 2023

 Joe Murray, WRA director of political and governmental affairs  |    May 02, 2022
Turnover Brings Change

When the Wisconsin Legislature gavels back into session in January 2023, there will be many new faces in both houses. With six of 33 senators and 22 of 99 state representatives retiring or running for higher office, there will be a lot of change in the state Assembly and Senate next year.

In addition to the large number of open seats this year, there has already been significant change in leadership for Democrats in the Assembly and pending leadership changes in the Senate. In January, Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz, 49, stepped down as minority leader, and Greta Neubauer, 30, of Racine was elected as the new leader of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. The average age of former leader Hintz’s leadership team was 48; the average age for Neubauer’s leadership team is 26.

That same generational change in leadership is likely coming next January in the state Senate. Current Democrat leader Janet Bewley, 70, and assistant leader Janis Ringhand, 72, are not running for reelection, and new leaders will be selected by their caucus after the November elections. The new leaders will likely be significantly younger.

The large number of retirements this year will also bring changes for Republicans. There are a total of 28 open seats this fall, and 16 are in GOP legislative districts. This kind of change is inevitable and will likely bring new priorities and new ideas to both chambers.

In addition to the record number of retirements and leadership changes, candidates will be running in newly drawn legislative districts. Every 10 years, the legislature is required to redraw districts to account for population shifts. The new lines could generate change in ways that may be significant. Only time will tell.

The political bottom line is simple: retirements, new district lines and members pursuing higher office could have a dramatic impact on the next legislative session in 2023-24. With lots of new members and new leadership on the Democratic side in both houses, the next session of the Wisconsin Legislature could look and feel dramatically different than the last 10 years. Here’s a quick look at which legislators are leaving and where their districts are located in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Senate

  • District 15: Janis Ringhand (D) 
  • District 19: Roger Roth (R) 
  • District 23: Kathy Bernier (R) 
  • District 25: Janet Bewley (D) 
  • District 27: Jon Erpenbach (D) 
  • District 29: Jerry Petrowski (R) 

See the Wisconsin Senate map: click here

Wisconsin Assembly

  • District 5: Jim Steineke (R) 
  • District 6: Gary Tauchen (R) 
  • District 10: David Bowen (D) 
  • District 13: Sara Rodriguez (D) 
  • District 15: Joe Sanfelippo (R) 
  • District 27: Tyler Vorpagel (R) 
  • District 31: Amy Loudenbeck (R) 
  • District 33: Cody Horlacher (R) 
  • District 45: Mark Spreitzer (D) 
  • District 46: Gary Hebl (D) 
  • District 52: Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R) 
  • District 54: Gordon Hintz (D) 
  • District 55: Rachael Cabral-Guevara (R) 
  • District 59: Tim Ramthun (R) 
  • District 61: Samantha Kerkman (R) 
  • District 68: Jesse James (R) 
  • District 73: Nick Milroy (D) 
  • District 74: Beth Meyers (D) 
  • District 79: Dianne Hesselbein (D)
  • District 80: Sondy Pope (D) 
  • District 82: Ken Skowronski (R) 
  • District 84: Mike Kuglitsch (R) 

See the Wisconsin Assembly map: click here

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