Although freshman Republican U.S. Representatives Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Reid Ribble (WI-08) are considered vulnerable by many D.C. prognosticators this November, redistricting has not spelled trouble for congressional incumbents in the Badger State over the last six decades. Since 1952, only one of 52 incumbents went down in the general election in years ending in '2' after redistricting - and in that case only because two incumbents were paired together in the same district. In 1972, 15-term Republican Alvin O'Konski lost the state's 7th CD race to two term Democrat David Obey by 25.6 points. O'Konski had previously served in the 10th CD which was eliminated after reapportionment. Meanwhile, Wisconsin congressional incumbents lost 16 of 208 races in cycles ending in '4,' '6,' '8,' and '0' during this span (7.7 percent) or nearly four times the rate as during redistricting years (1.9 percent).
Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.
With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.
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