So much for the argument that term limits would produce more candidates and more competition for legislative seats: 76 of the 118 seats on the ballot this year are uncontested.

I think you can argue that term limits have increased the power of incumbency. Even goofy, do-nothings are left unchallenged because of the thought that another opportunity will be along before long. I think you can also argue that they put an emphasis on the short term among those who serve — “I’m going to get mine now while I can.” Gone are the days when the occasional extraordinary legislator spent a decade or more working on a big topic — education, juvenile courts, etc.

Advertisement