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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


Article VI of the 1907 Oklahoma Constitution gave the governor a four-year term of office; it did not allow two consecutive terms but did permit the same person to be reelected after being out of office for one term. In 1966 the constitution was amended so that a governor could serve two consecutive eight-year terms, but this did not prohibit a former governor from holding a third term after a four-year break in service.

On the November 2, 2010, ballot Oklahoma voters approved State Question 747. The state question amended Article VI, Sections 4 and 23 and Article XI, Section 15 of the Oklahoma Constitution. The amendment limits the terms of the elected offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer, commissioner of labor, auditor and inspector, superintendent of public instruction, and insurance commissioner. Their terms are limited to a total of eight years. If an incumbent serves less than a full term, that time would not count against the eight-year-limit. Members of the corporation commission are limited to twelve years.

The 2010 amendment was sponsored by Republican State Sen. Randy Brogdon and Republican State Rep. Jason Murphey. The measure's supporters believed that limiting the elected officials' terms would result in fresh ideas and eliminate entrenched politics. Opponents of term limits held that the positions required a lengthy learning process and that turnover in personnel would hinder the effectiveness and efficiency of their work. The state's two largest circulating newspapers, The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World, opposed State Question 747.

Linda D. Wilson

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"Governors' Term Limits," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 17, 27, and 31 October and 8 November 2010.

Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 11 March and 14 April 2009 and 6 September and 24 October 2010.


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Linda D. Wilson, “Term Limits Amendment of 2010,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=TE028.

Published September 21, 2015

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