One-fifth of state lawmakers not seeking re-election in 2018

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FILE - Rep. Mike Noel, left, a Kanab Republican speaks during the State Water Development Commission meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in Salt Lake City. Noel is among 20 lawmakers who are not seeking re-election. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Nearly one-fifth of state lawmakers are not running for re-election this year.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports the retiring lawmakers include some big names like Speaker Greg Hughes, tax-guru Republican Sen. Howard Stephenson and Republican Rep. Mike Noel, known for his clashes with environmentalists.

Democratic retirements include Sen. Jim Dabakis, the only openly-gay member of the Legislature who helped shepherd Utah's 2015 anti-discrimination law, and Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, who unsuccessfully tried for years to pass a law allowing terminally ill adults to end their lives.

Stephenson says he's not worried about an exodus leaving the Legislature without enough seasoned members. He says it's healthy to have rotation and lawmakers who've served for more than 20 years will still be there.