The Longest Serving Members of the House of Representatives

June 1, 2012, 11:43 a.m.

Some mem­bers of the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives come to Wash­ing­ton only to leave of­fice after a term or two, either from their de­sire to take ad­vant­age of oth­er ca­reer op­por­tun­it­ies or their con­stitu­ents’ de­sire for new rep­res­ent­a­tion. Oth­ers re­main in of­fice year after year, even dec­ade after dec­ade.

Im­me­di­ately be­low is a graph­ic rep­res­ent­a­tion of the dis­tri­bu­tion of rep­res­ent­at­ives based on how long they’ve been in the House and their party iden­ti­fic­a­tion (red for Re­pub­lic­an, blue for Demo­crat), ac­cord­ing to the of­fice of the Clerk of the House, as of March 20.

When only con­sid­er­ing rep­res­ent­at­ives who are at least in their second term, the dis­tri­bu­tion between the parties is roughly a wash. But the bal­ance tips heav­ily Re­pub­lic­an when con­sid­er­ing rep­res­ent­at­ives who were first elec­ted 2010 (those mem­bers who are in their second or more non­con­sec­ut­ive terms are grouped with those mem­bers who have served the same num­ber of con­sec­ut­ive terms).

Be­low that are de­tails of the five longest-serving Demo­crats, fol­lowed by the five longest-serving Re­pub­lic­ans, ac­cord­ing to the clerk’s of­fice.

The Five Longest-Serving Demo­crats and Five Longest-Serving Re­pub­lic­ans of the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives