Virginia still clings onto one-term limit policy for Governors
By Kyle Maichle
Since 1851, the state constitution has banned Governors from serving consecutive terms in office. Virginia is the only state in the nation to limit Governors to one term. Previous Governors and current Governor Bob McDonnell have asked the General Assembly to approve a constitutional amendment aimed at repealing term limits.
Delegate Bob Purkey (R-Virginia Beach) has introduced a constitutional amendment to end gubernatorial term limits in each session of the General Assembly since 1992. Purkey supports putting the issue of gubernatorial term limits on the ballot by stating: "let it go to referendum. Shouldn't the voters have a chance?"
Other supporters including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce said that eliminating gubernatorial term limits would promote better continuity of state government. Opponents in the General Assembly feel that the one-term limit helps check and balance the Governor's power to appoint agency heads along with members to state boards and commissions.
There have been over 50 attempts since 1971 to get a constitutional amendment qualified on the ballot to end gubernatorial term limits. In order to qualify a constitutional amendment in Virginia, both houses of the General Assembly must approve the amendment for two consecutive sessions.