by Stacey Selleck
Voters in Texas weighed in on term limits on Saturday, May 1st and the results are in: Texans have a strong appetite for term limits! Six term limits on Congress pledge signers ran in the open seat to replace Congressman Ron Wright, also a pledge signer. The top three candidates were all pledge signers. In Brownsville and McAllen, a staggering percent of voters called for implementing term limits on their mayor and city commissioners. Here are the results.
Texas Congressional District 6
Texans in congressional district 6 placed term limits pledge signers at the top of their list. The seat was formerly held by pledge signer Ron Wright, who died of COVID complications in February. His wife, Susan Wright and Jake Ellzey, both pledge signers, are the top two candidates headed for a runoff election, the date yet to be determined. Six of the candidates in the CD6 race signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge. The open seat election to represent the Dallas area drew in 23 candidates vyying for the spot.
City of Brownsville, Texas
In the City of Brownsville, an astounding 86% of the voters were “For” Propositions 1 and 2 to place 8-year term limits on the mayor and the city commissioners. The new statute goes into effect on the completition of their current terms and will become effective at the next election.
Proposition 2 read as follows:
Shall Article V, Sec. 2 of the City Charter establish a term limit for the office of City Commissioner to be for no more than two four-year terms, with conditions 1) a person who has held this office for any portion of a term to which some other person was elected may not be elected to the office of city commissioner more than once, 2) this provision will not cause the City Commissioner’s current term to be terminated prior to the completion of their elected term, 3) will become effective at the next municipal election and 4) shall apply to current City Commissioners?
Residents in McAllen, Texas, voted to establish term limits on the offices of mayor and city commissioners as well. They were presented with much longer term limits of 12-years, which is more than U.S. Term Limits typically suggests. In addition, one may serve as mayor and commissioner for a total of 24-years which is no real term limit at all. While we commend the voters for the 90% supermajority vote to establish term limits, much more can be done to limit the terms from a potential 24-years to a more reasonable 8-years.
Proposition A reads:
Term Limits. The City Charter should be updated to establish term limits for the offices of mayor and city commissioner as follows: No person shall serve as a commissioner or mayor for more than three (3) terms. Each term shall be four (4) years. If a commissioner or mayor is fulfilling the unexpired term of a previous commissioner or mayor, said term shall not be counted for purposes of term limits. The term limits on commissioners set forth herein do not prohibit an individual from holding the office of mayor after the term limits are reached. The term limits on mayors set forth herein do not prohibit an individual from holding the office of commissioner after the term limits are reached. Terms as mayor shall not be counted for purposes of commissioner term limits. Terms as commissioner shall not be counted for purposes of mayoral term limits.