By Tim Storey

After 18 years in the New Hampshire House, including three terms as speaker, Terie Norelli announced  Monday that she would not seek re-election in 2014.

Teri Norelli announces she is not running againNorelli also serves as the immediate past president of NCSL and president of the NCSL Foundation. In the full statement announcing her retirement, the speaker said, “It has been both a challenging (think herding cats) and a rewarding experience,” a comment made more relevant given that she is the speaker of the 400-member New Hampshire House. She went on to say, “I feel that it’s time for me to step back and catch my breath—and give my family a break, too.”

Norelli joins a growing list of leaders who have announced that they will not be returning to the legislature next year including Pennsylvania Speaker Sam Smith, former Rhode Island Speaker Gordon Fox, Utah Speaker Becky Lockhart, Washington Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis and Wyoming Speaker Tom Lubnau. Ellis stands out in the group because he has served in the Wisconsin Legislature for nearly 44 years—putting him in the top 10 among longest serving legislators in the nation.

During her press conference to make the announcement, Norelli said she had no intention of seeking another elected office. She also declared that she did not plan to join the NCSL staff when asked about that possibility by a reporter.

Her announcement prompted many kind statements from across the political spectrum. House Republican Leader Gene Chandler, commented that, “Being a volunteer legislator for 18 years, and a speaker for six of those years, involves a tremendous amount of time and commitment. Despite our disagreements on some issues, I applaud the speaker for her dedication to public service and to her constituents. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

 New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan issued a statement saying that, “Speaker Norelli’s unyielding commitment to the people of New Hampshire has been critical in improving the well-being of Granite State families, and I thank her for her years of dedicated service and her friendship.”

Tim Storey is director, Leaders Services & Legislative Training, in NCSL’s State Services Division. Email Tim.

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This blog offers updates on the National Conference of State Legislatures' research and training, the latest on federalism and the state legislative institution, and posts about state legislators and legislative staff. The blog is edited by NCSL staff and written primarily by NCSL's experts on public policy and the state legislative institution.


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