By Alex Fitzsimmons and Jeff Hurley
When the new Congress is sworn in, there will be 33 fresh-faced congressmen with state legislative experience, accounting for about one-third of the entire freshmen class. A handful of elections have yet to be finalized, but when the dust settles, just under half of all members of the 113th Congress will have served in state legislatures.
Four candidates with state legislative experience on their resumes won election to the U.S. Senate. Senator-elect Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) will head directly to Congress' upper chamber after her service in the Nebraska Unicameral. Sen. Fischer also recently served a three-year term on NCSL's Executive Committee. Joining her will be Senators-elect Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), each of whom followed a path from their state legislature to the U.S. House of Representatives before last Tuesday's election.
As NCSL reported before the election, there are 228 former state legislators serving in the U.S. House, and 42 serving in the U.S. Senate. In the new Congress, there will be 219 former state legislators in the U.S. House, and 42 in the U.S. Senate. The proportion of former state legislators serving in the U.S. House will continue to hover around 50 percent, as it has for the last several decades. Come January, some of the names and faces will change, but state legislators will retain a strong presence in the 113th Congress.