By Alex Fitzsimmons
With the election around the corner, NCSL compiled a comprehensive list of every candidate for Congress who has served in a state legislature. In total, 305 current and former state legislators are running for Congress in 2012.
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of these candidates (272) are seeking a House seat, while the remaining 33 are running for Senate. Of the 272 House candidates, 73 are not currently in Congress. In 19 House races, both candidates have state legislative experience. Fifteen of these races pit an incumbent against a challenger, while the other four feature two candidates vying for an open seat.
On the Senate side, former state legislators are running in 24 of the 33 races. In nine of the races, both candidates have state legislative experience. But unlike the House, where more than 70 percent of the candidates are incumbents, 60 percent (20 of 33) of the former state legislators running for the upper chamber are not sitting senators.
In addition, eight current House members with previous state legislative experience are running for the Senate in 2012. Think you can name them all? If not, here’s the list: Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.), Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-Mont.).
As is the case every cycle, Congress is losing a number of former state legislators to retirement. Three senators – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) – and 21 House members will not be returning to Washington when the new Congress is sworn in. There are currently 42 former state legislators serving in the U.S. Senate, and 228 serving in the U.S. House.
Stay tuned for updates after the election for a complete list of current and former state legislators who will comprise the 113th Congress. Also, check out NCSL's StateVote page on election night for up-to-the-minute state election results. Covering 280 federal races and more than 6,000 state races, NCSL is the definitive source for state elections.