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States with gubernatorial term limits

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In 36 states, governors are subject to some type of term limits. Some term limits were initially within state constitutions, while others were created through initiatives.

Lifetime versus consecutive

Gubernatorial term limits can be either lifetime or consecutive, and may be based on years or terms served. In the 28 states where the limits are consecutive, once a governor has served the maximum number of years or terms, he or she must leave the governor's office. In most cases the person may be able to run for another elected position. After a period of time out of office, usually four years, the person is allowed to run for governor again.

In eight states, the term limit for the governor is a lifetime limit. Once a governor has served the maximum allowable number of terms in office, that person may never again run for or hold the office of governor.

Gubernatorial term limits

Color Key
No term limits No term limits (but two year terms) 2 consecutive term limit 8 out of 12 year limit 8 out of 16 year limit No consecutive terms 2 lifetime term limit
Gubernatorial office Simple Explanation Constitutional Law Source
Alabama 2 consecutive term limit "[The Governor] shall be eligible to succeed himself in office, but no person shall be eligible to succeed himself for more than one additional term." Alabama Constitution of 1901, Amendment 282 (to Section 116)
Alaska 2 consecutive term limit "No person who has been elected governor for two full successive terms shall be again eligible to hold that office until one full term has intervened." Alaska Constitution, Article III, Section 5
Arizona 2 consecutive term limit "No member of the executive department shall hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. This limitation on the number of terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. No member of the executive department after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the same office until out of office for no less than one full term." Arizona Constitution, Article 5 Section 1 Version 2
Arkansas 2 lifetime term limit "No elected officials of the Executive Department of this State may serve in the same office more than two such four year terms." Arkansas Constitution of 1874, Amendment 73
California 2 lifetime term limit "No Governor may serve more than 2 terms." California Constitution, Article V, Section 2
Colorado 2 consecutive term limit "(2) In order to broaden the opportunities for public service and to guard against excessive concentrations of power, no governor ... shall serve more than two consecutive terms in such office. This limitation on the number of terms shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1991. Any person who succeeds to the office of governor or is appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in one of the other offices named in this section, and who serves at least one-half of a term of office, shall be considered to have served a term in that office for purposes of this subsection (2). Terms are considered consecutive unless they are at least four years apart." Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
Connecticut No term limits Connecticut Constitution, Article IV


Delaware 2 lifetime term limit "The Governor shall hold his office during four years from the third Tuesday in January next ensuing his election; and shall not be elected a third time to said office." Delaware Constitution, Article III, Section 5
Florida 2 consecutive term limit "No person who has, or but for resignation would have, served as governor or acting governor for more than six years in two consecutive terms shall be elected governor for the succeeding term." Florida Constitution, Article IV, Section 5
Georgia 2 consecutive term limit "Persons holding the office of Governor may succeed themselves for one four-year term of office. Persons who have held the office of Governor and have succeeded themselves as herein before provided shall not again be eligible to be elected to that office until after the expiration of four years from the conclusion of their term as Governor." Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Paragraph 1
Hawaii 2 consecutive term limit "No person shall be elected to the office of governor for more than two consecutive full terms." Hawaii Constitution, Section V, Section 1
Idaho No term limits Idaho Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
Illinois No term limits Illinois Article V, Section 2
Indiana 8 out of 12 year limit "The executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor. He shall hold his office during four years, and shall not be eligible more than eight years in any period of twelve years." Indiana Constitution, Article 5, Section 1
Iowa No term limits Iowa Constitution, Article IV, Section 2
Kansas 2 consecutive term limit "No person may be elected to more than two successive terms as governor..." Kansas Constitution, Article I, Section 1
Kentucky 2 consecutive term limit "The Governor shall be ineligible for the succeeding four years after the expiration of any second consecutive term for which he shall have been elected." Kentucky Constitution, Section 71
Louisiana 2 consecutive term limit "A person who has served as governor for more than one and one-half terms in two consecutive terms shall not be elected governor for the succeeding term." Louisiana Constitution, Section IV, Section 3b
Maine 2 consecutive term limit "The person who has served 2 consecutive popular elective 4-year terms of office as Governor shall be ineligible to succeed himself or herself." Maine Constitution, Article V. -- Part First, Section 2
Maryland 2 consecutive term limit "a person who has served two consecutive popular elective terms of office as Governor shall be ineligible to succeed himself as Governor for the term immediately following the second of said two consecutive popular elective terms" Maryland Constitution, Article II, Section 1
Massachusetts No term limits Massachusetts Constitution, Chapter II
Michigan 2 lifetime term limit "No person shall be elected more than two times to each office of the executive branch of government: governor ... Any person appointed or elected to fill a vacancy in the office of governor ... for a period greater than one half of a term of such office, shall be considered to have been elected to serve one time in that office for purposes of this section. This limitation on the number of times a person shall be elected to office shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993." Michigan Constitution, Article V, Section 30
Minnesota No term limits Minnesota Constitution, Article V
Mississippi 2 lifetime term limit "Any person elected to the office of Governor shall be eligible to succeed himself in office. However, no person shall be elected to the office of Governor more than twice, and no person who has held the office of Governor or has acted as Governor for more than two (2) years of a term to which another person was elected shall be elected to the office of Governor more than once." Mississippi Constitution, Article 5, Section 116
Missouri 2 lifetime term limit "No person shall be elected governor...more than twice, and no person who has held the office of governor..., or acted as governor..., for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected to the office of governor or treasurer shall be elected to the office of governor...more than once." Missouri Constitution, Article IV, Section 17
Montana 8 out of 16 year limit "(1) The secretary of state or other authorized official shall not certify a candidate's nomination or election to, or print or cause to be printed on any ballot the name of a candidate for, one of the following offices if, at the end of the current term of that office, the candidate will have served in that office or had he not resigned or been recalled would have served in that office:
(a) 8 or more years in any 16-year period as governor..."
Montana Constitution, Article IV, Section 8
Nebraska 2 consecutive term limit "The Governor shall be ineligible to the office of Governor for four years next after the expiration of two consecutive terms for which he or she was elected." Nebraska Constitution, Article IV-1
Nevada 2 lifetime term limit "nor shall any person be elected to the Office of Governor more than twice; and no person who has held the Office of Governor, or acted as Governor for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected Governor shall be elected to the Office of Governor more than once." Nevada Constitution, Article 5, Section 3
New Hampshire No term limits (but two year terms) New Hampshire Constitution, Article 42
New Jersey 2 consecutive term limit "No person who has been elected Governor for two successive terms, including an unexpired term, shall again be eligible for that office until the third Tuesday in January of the fourth year following the expiration of the second successive term." New Jersey Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Paragraph 5
New Mexico 2 consecutive term limit "[The Governor] shall, after having served two terms in a state office, be ineligible to hold that state office until one full term has intervened." New Mexico Constitution, Article V, Section 1
New York No term limits New York Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
North Carolina 2 consecutive term limit "No person elected to the office of Governor ... shall be eligible for election to more than two consecutive terms of the same office." North Carolina Constitution, Article III, Section 2, Paragraph 2
North Dakota No term limits North Dakota Constitution, Article V
Ohio 2 consecutive term limit "No person shall hold the office of governor for a period longer than two successive terms of four years." Ohio Constitution, Article III, Section 2
Oklahoma 2 lifetime term limit "No person shall be eligible to serve as Governor for a period of time in excess of eight (8) years. Such years need not be consecutive. Any years served by a person serving as Governor for less than full term to fill a vacancy in such office shall not be included in eight-year limitation set forth herein." Oklahoma Constitution, Article VI, Section 4
Oregon 8 out of 12 year limit "The cheif [sic] executive power of the State, shall be vested in a Governor, who shall hold his office for the term of four years; and no person shall be eligible to such office more than Eight, in any period of twelve years." Oregon Constitution, Article V, Section 1
Pennsylvania 2 consecutive term limit "Except for the Governor who may be in office when this amendment is adopted, he shall be eligible to succeed himself for one additional term." Pennsylvania Constitution, Article IV, Section 3
Rhode Island 2 consecutive term limit "No person shall serve consecutively in the same general office for more than two (2) full terms, excluding any partial term of less than two (2) years previously served." Rhode Island Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
South Carolina 2 consecutive term limit "No person shall be elected Governor for more than two successive terms." South Carolina Constitution, Article IV, Section 3
South Dakota 2 consecutive term limit "Commencing with the 1974 general election, no person shall be elected to more than two consecutive terms as Governor..." South Dakota Constitution, Article IV, Section 2
Tennessee 2 consecutive term limit "A person may be eligible to succeed in office for additional four year terms, provided that no person presently serving or elected hereafter shall be eligible for election to more than two terms consecutively, including an election to a partial term." Tennessee Constitution, Article III, Section 4
Texas No term limits Texas Constitution, Article 4, Section 4
Utah No term limits Utah Constitution, Article VII, Section 1
Vermont No term limits (but two year terms) Vermont Constitution, Chapter II, Section 43 and 49
Virginia No consecutive terms "[The Governor] shall be ineligible to the same office for the term next succeeding that for which he was elected" Virginia Constitution, Article V, Section 1
Washington No term limits Washington Constitution, Article III, Section 2
West Virginia 2 consecutive term limit "A person who has been elected or who has served as governor during all or any part of two consecutive terms shall be ineligible for the office of governor during any part of the term immediately following the second of the two consecutive terms." West Virginia Constitution, Article VII, Section 4
Wisconsin No term limits Wisconsin Constitution, Article V, Section 1
Wyoming 8 out of 16 year limit "The person, by the end of the current term of office will have served, or but for resignation, would have served eight (8) or more years in any sixteen (16) year period in the office for which the candidate is seeking nomination or election, except, that any time served in that particular office prior to January 1, 1993, shall not be counted for purposes of this term limit. This provision shall apply to the offices of governor..." Wyoming Statutes § 22-5-103 (See note below)
  • Note on Wyoming: Wyoming has no constitutional term limits. The statute imposing term limits on state elected officials was adopted in a 1992 ballot measure. On February 1, 2013, the Wyoming Supreme Court overturned the voter-approved initiative as it applies to the offices of secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and superintendent of public instruction, but not governor. The court's ruling stated that the "qualifications for state offices are spelled out in the Wyoming Constitution and requirements can only be changed by constitutional amendment, not state statute."[1]
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