According to Legistorm, a website that tracks all kinds of data on the U.S. House and Senate, Alaska’s Rep. Mary Peltola has the fifth-highest turnover of staff among all 435 members.
It’s a rocky start for the freshman from the 49th state who has been in office since September of 2022. Peltola won election after the death of Congressman Don Young in March of 2022.
Most of Congressman Young’s staff stayed for years, and some for decades. Alex Ortiz, for example, Young’s most recent chief of staff, stayed with Young for over 10 years. Young’s state directors stayed for decades at a time.
Ortiz was immediately hired by Peltola to be her chief of staff, but he left after just a couple of months. She’s also gone through at least four state directors.
In fact, Peltola has gone through more state directors in one year than Young went through in 40 years.
Part of it may be that Peltola said she was bipartisan and hired a few Republican staff to prove it, but she has quickly dumped all of her Republicans staffers.
Part of it may be the screaming: Peltola has a reputation for taking staff members behind closed doors and dressing them down so loudly that others in the office can hear every detail.
“Offices with the most staff turnover might also include some of the worst bosses,” says the Legistorm website. “Some members of Congress get a reputation for being hard to work for, whether due to anger management, shady ethics, poor pay, demanding too much or creating a toxic work environment.”
The top for turnover is Jonathan Jackson of Illinois, followed by Victoria Sports of Indiana, Brandon Williams of New York, and Jim Baird of Indiana. Peltola comes in next at #5.
Office dysfunction can cause members of Congress to be less effective, less responsive to constituents, and that can lead to constituents leaning more on lobbyists for help, says Legistorm.