In California State Legislature, Democrats are more impacted by term limits than Republicans

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August 18, 2010

Tom Torlakson, who is ineligible to run for California General Assembly District 11 because of term limits.

By Justin Haas

California was one of the first states to pass state legislative term limits. This occurred in 1990, when its voters approved the California Term Limits Proposition. These term limits will impact more Democrats than Republicans in the 2010 state legislative elections in California.

Senate races

Members of the California Senate are limited to two four-year terms. Four Democratic senators -- Dean Florez, Denise Moreno Ducheny, Gilbert Cedillo and Gloria J. Romero -- as well as four Republican senators -- Dennis Hollingsworth, Jeff Denham, Roy Ashburn and Samuel Aanestad -- will lose their seats due to term limits in the coming election.

Currently Democrats hold 25 seats and Republicans have 13 seats. Due to the even impact of term limits and the current near 2:1 Democratic majority, Democrats should retain a strong majority in the California State Senate.

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 25
     Republican Party 14
     Vacancy 1
Total 40

House races

Representatives in the California General Assembly can serve a maximum of three two-year terms. It is in the Assembly where term limits have a greater impact on Democrats. Eleven Democratic representatives -- Alberto Torrico, Dave Jones, Hector De La Torre, Ira Ruskin, Joe Coto, Karen Bass, Lori Saldana, Noreen Evans, Pedro Nava, Ted Lieu and Tom Torlakson, have reached their term limits, along with six Republicans -- Audra Strickland, Charles DeVore, Michael Villines, Roger Niello, Sam Blakeslee and Van Tran.

Democrats hold a 50 to 28 majority in the California General Assembly. Due to this heavy majority, it is unlikely that any noticeable partisan shift will occur, despite the greater impact of term limits on Democrats.

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 52
     Republican Party 28
Total 80

See also