There are two types of term limits: absolute, where the officeholder has a lifetime limit to the number of terms – for example, a president can only server two terms; and consecutive, where the number of back-to-back terms is limited but the officeholder could run again after someone else serves a term. New York City currently has consecutive term limits, so in theory, Michael Bloomberg could run for mayor again.
Bill Samuels of EffectiveNY recommends the consecutive approach.
• A study of 2002 legislative elections by the National Conference of State Legislatures, for instance, found that only two states had senates with a lower turnover rate than New York. Only three statehouses had lower turnover rates than the New York Assembly: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/27/nyregion/27incumbent.html?_r=0
In New York, according to the state constitution, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state comptroller are elected to four year terms, and state senators and assembly persons to two year terms. However, there is no limit to how many terms any candidate might have. Louis Lefkowitz, for example, was attorney general for nearly 22 years. This has remained true despite the fact that term limits have always been popular with the voters.
- According to Ballotopedia, 15 state legislatures have term limits. In the United States as a whole, there are 1,972 state senate seats and 5,411 state house seats. 562 of the 1,972 state senate seats, or 28.5%, come with a limit. 1,368 of the 5,411 state house seats, or 25%, come with a limit. Of the total of 7,383 state legislative seats, 1,930 (26.1%) are limited.
“California Rethinks Term Limits, Again,” by Chris Kardish, Governing, February, 2014.
“California Term Limits,” League of Women Voters of California.
“Corruption cauldron: To fix Albany — term limits,” by Tim Hoefer, The New York Post, January 27, 2015.
“The Effects of Legislative Term Limits,” By Jennifer Drage Bowser, The Council of State Governments, 2005.
“The Effects of Term Limits on State Legislatures,” by John M. Carey, Richard G. Niemi and Lynda W. Powell, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2 (May, 1998), pp. 271-300.
“Fair Elections for New York State,” Citizens Union, November, 2012.
“Frequently Asked Questions About Term Limits,” National Conference of State Legislators.
“How Have Term Limits Affected the California Legislature?” Public Policy Institute of California, Issue #94, November 2004.
“NYC Term Limits Revisited,” by Mark Berkey-Gerard, Gotham Gazette, March 14, 2005.
“Once Again, City Voters Approve Term Limits,” by Javier C. Hernandez, November 3, 2010.
“State Legislatures with Term Limits,” Ballotopedia.
“Term Limits for Municipal Elected Officials: Executive and Legislative Branches,” by Patrick J. Egan, Ph.D., prepared for the New York City Charter Revision Commission, June 2010.
“The Truth About Term Limits,” by Alan Greenblatt, Governing, 2006.