The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 March 2005

Term limits for everyone

Rep. Trebor Worthen (R-Oklahoma City) has come up with House Joint Resolution 1015, which would limit all statewide officeholders to two terms.

The Lieutenant Governor, the State Superintendent of Schools, the Insurance Commissioner, the Treasurer, the Attorney General, the Labor Commissioner, and the Auditor and Inspector are all elected for four-year terms; the three members of the Corporation Commission are elected for six-year terms. Of the ten offices in question, five are occupied by Democrats, five by Republicans, so it's not like Worthen, a freshman Republican, is trying to engineer some sort of GOP coup here.

Worthen knows from term limits: his father, Robert Worthen, used to hold that same District 87 seat before running out of time. State legislators are now limited to twelve years in office. If you ask me, if twelve years is enough for legislators, twelve years is enough for other statewide offices; I'd support this measure if it were rewritten to set a twelve-year limit, three terms for everyone except the Corp Comm. And it is, at least in part, up to me: since this requires a change to the state Constitution, HJR 1015, if passed, would call for an election.

Posted at 8:20 AM to Soonerland

How often do Oklahoma statewide position holders stay in the same office for more than 8 or 12 years? In Texas just about everyone at the bottom wants to work their way to the top (so run for different offices) and those at the top have some difficulty getting re-elected (Bush is the only governor ever elected to two four-year terms, none have actually served it - can't remember when Texas offices went from 2 years to 4, though...).

Posted by: R. Alex at 4:18 PM on 7 March 2005

Five of the ten are in their third terms:

Bob Anthony (Corp Comm)
Robert Butkin (Treas — resigned effective 31 May)
Drew Edmondson (AG)
Mary Fallin (Lt Gov)
Brenda Reneau (Labor Comm)

Sandy Garrett (Supt of Schools) is in her fourth term.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:28 PM on 7 March 2005