Effect of Term Limits on the Election of Minority State Legislators
The number of minorities increased in the lower houses of the state legislatures of California, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania during the 1990s. California and Michigan have legislative term limits; Georgia and Pennsylvania do not. Compared with California, where the number of minorities elected grew dramatically, Michigan had a much smaller increase. The increase in minority representatives in Georgia was similar to that of Michigan, but the increase in Pennsylvania was only marginal. The disparate election outcomes between term-limited California and Michigan, in conjunction with similar results in Michigan and non-term-limited Georgia, suggest that term limits help minority candidates only under certain circumstances.
This article originally appeared in"State and Local Government Review." Volume 35, issue 3, Fall 2003. The article can be found at the Sage Journal's website using: 10.1177/0160323X0303500304.
Caress, Stanley M.; Elder, Charles; Elling, Richard; Faletta, Jean-Philippe; Orr, Shannon; Rader, Eric; Sarbaugh-Thompson, Marjorie; Strate, John; and Thompson, Lyke, "Effect of Term Limits on the Election of Minority State Legislators" (2003). Political Science Faculty Publications. 36.
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