A brief history of term limits in Prince George’s

Term limits in Prince George’s

Prince George’s County is the only municipality in the Washington metro area that limits the number of years elected officials can hold office (farther out, St. Mary’s, Howard and Anne Arundel counties have term limits). District voters overwhelmingly approved a two-term limit for council and school board members in 1994, but the D.C. Council reversed it. Maryland and Virginia have term limits for the governor — one four-year term in Virginia and two four-year terms in Maryland. Here is a brief history of term limits in Prince George’s:

1992: Voters narrowly approve term limits for county executive and County Council amid national anti-incumbent sentiment and rapid demographic changes in the county.

1994: Parris Glendening (D) is elected governor after three terms as county executive; Wayne K. Curry (D) becomes the first African American county executive in Prince George’s.

2000: Curry tells The Washington Post that term limits made politicians in Prince George’s the “rookies of the Washington political league.” His protege, then-state Del. Rushern L. Baker III, launches an effort to put the issue to voters on the November ballot.

November 2000: Voters keep term limits in place by a wide margin. At the same time, Montgomery County voters reject term limits for their elected officials.

November 2002: With Curry barred from seeking a third term, Jack Johnson is elected county executive.

2004 : A charter amendment to create two new, non-term-limited at-large council seats is rejected by voters.

2010: Johnson is barred from seeking a third term. Baker is elected county executive. Johnson is indicted on federal corruption charges.

2013-14: The Charter Review Commission recommends increasing the limit from two to three terms.

July 23: The deadline for the County Council to decide whether to adopt the recommendation and place the term-limit extension on November’s ballot.

Arelis Hernández covers Prince George’s County as part of The Washington Post's local staff.
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