CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Four members of West Virginia’s board of public works today joined legislators to announce their collective support for a proposed constitutional amendment to establish term limits for their offices. The group also referred to as statewide constitutional officers, made the announcement during a capitol press conference.
Senate Joint Resolution 11, introduced this week by Republican Senator Ryan Weld of Brooke County, would propose amending the state Constitution to limit any person from serving in the office of Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture or Attorney General for more than three consecutive terms.
Four of the incumbent officials spoke along with Weld. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey did not attend, but Auditor J.B. McCuskey said Morrisey favors the legislation.
“West Virginians do not want their statewide offices run by a political power elite who spend a lifetime exploiting executive offices for personal gain,” said Treasurer Riley Moore. “When I ran for this office, I made a promise to the people of West Virginia that I would fight to bring term limits to these offices – including my own. This is the first step in fulfilling that promise to the people who put me in this office. Establishing finite limits for how long a politician can stay in one office helps ensure they serve the people rather than themselves.”
McCuskey added, “I’ve been proud to unwaveringly push for constitutional officer term limits since I was first elected State Auditor. We’ve seen newly elected constitutional officers bring fresh ideas to modernize and reform their office to better serve the citizens of our state. In the last election cycle, I made the commitment this would be my last term as State Auditor. I believe term limits will help ensure our statewide elected officials maintain offices that efficiently and effectively serve the people, and I’m proud to stand with our group in support of SJR 11.”
Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt said, “Those of us who have replaced long-time incumbents know how difficult it is to reform an office after decades of one-person control. We have to spend too much time during our terms to simply right the ship. Establishing term limits will help guarantee that these offices are constantly improving, forcing politicians to be more focused and seek faster change.”
Secretary of State Mac Warner concluded, “Government is best when it is close to the people. Term limits for constitutional officers will ensure the exchange of fresh ideas while granting ample time for officeholders to accomplish the goals and challenges they were elected to address.”
West Virginia currently has term limits for the offices of Governor and sheriffs, each limited to two consecutive terms. If Senate Joint Resolution 11 is adopted by the Legislature, the proposed amendment extending term limits to the other statewide offices would need to be approved by the voters during the 2022 General Election.