Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling announced this morning that she will retire effective Dec. 1., ending a 32-year career in the state Legislature. The resignation means that Senate Republicans will not begin the January 2023 legislative with a “veto-proof” two-thirds supermajority in the State Senate and likely will not hold such a super majority until a special election is held to fill Darling’s seat, which leans heavily Republican.
A former teacher, Darling, 78, was a long-time member of the Senate Education Committee and chaired the committee for the past two years. She previously serving as the vice-chair of the committee in the 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2019-20 sessions. She also served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding. Her departure means a new chairperson will take over the Senate Education Committee.
The River Hills lawmaker was first elected to the state Assembly in a May 1990 special election and was reelected to that seat in November 1990. She ran for and was elected to the state Senate in 1992 where she has served ever since.
Sen. Darling was also a former Co-Chair of the Legislature’s powerful, budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, and holds the record as the longest serving woman to co-chair the Commitee.
In her resignation letter to Senate President Chris Kapenga, Darling wrote, “Serving requires many sacrifices and I look forward to giving family and friends my full attention.”
We wish Sen. Darling well in her retirement.