Fourteen states do not have any term limits. These include Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. The lack of term limits does not mean that the office of the governor can rule without a democratic opposition, as this would largely be against the constitution and the primary principles that make the U.S. one of the greatest free democratic nations in the world.
A term is much like the term of the President, meaning that it is limited to four years before an election. The fact that makes it unlimited is that the same governor can be elected past the traditional two-term limit, meaning that if they have a strong platform that adheres to the wants and needs of its citizens, they can be successful for many terms to come. It is notable that although New Hampshire and Vermont have no limit on how long the governor can stay in office, terms are limited to two years instead of four.
There are many states that mimic the federal rules of the constitution which govern the office of the president and his/her team. In Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Main, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia, the governor can run for two consecutive four-year terms if they are wanted.
Virginia is the only state that does not allow a governor to serve consecutive terms. The Governor of Virginia is the most restricted in office, as they are unable to run for reelection - even if they were successful in serving their state for a four-year period. This ban on a second consecutive term has largely been disputed, as it can create problems with leadership even after a great display of leadership.
Other states have two-term limits, but require them not to be served consecutively. Indiana and Oregon also have adopted a rule that the governor must take a one-term pause in between elections, with the office of the governor of Montana and Wyoming needing a two-year pause in between terms.
Finally, other states such as Arkansas, California, Delaware, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, and Oklahoma all allow two terms a lifetime, regardless if it is consecutive or a pause. While it is a normal occurrence for presidents to run for two consecutive terms, the federal rules closely resemble these states - as a President can run for two terms in a lifetime if one of the terms resulted in a loss. This can be seen most recently with Donald Trump running for office in 2024, after his unsuccessful re-election campaign in 2020.
Governor Term Limit in Years
|District of Columbia||0|
|Indiana||8||8 out of 12 yrs.|
|Montana||8||8 out of 16 yrs.|
|Oregon||8||8 out of 12 yrs.|
|Wyoming||8||8 out of 16 yrs.|