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The Failure of Term Limits in Florida$
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Kathryn A. DePalo

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060484

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060484.001.0001

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Electoral Competition and the New Incumbency Advantage

Electoral Competition and the New Incumbency Advantage

Chapter:
(p.33) 2 Electoral Competition and the New Incumbency Advantage
Source:
The Failure of Term Limits in Florida
Author(s):

Kathryn A. DePalo

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813060484.003.0003

Chapter two assesses whether term limits have increased electoral competition. Forced turnover has facilitated more competition but only for open seat races. Legislators now effectively “own” their seats once elected and competition precipitously declines or is even nonexistent until the seat is vacated. Most candidates time these vacancies and plan a run for office when a seat opens. This has created a new kind of incumbency advantage. Incumbents face little to no serious opposition and remain the beneficiaries of campaign fundraising.

Keywords:   electoral competition, turnover, incumbency advantage, term limits

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