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LONGEST TERMS IN OFFICE

In the first incarnation of term limits, which started in 1990, constitutional officers and State Senate members can hold an office for two four-year terms. In the State Assembly, the limit was three two-year terms. Under the new term limits, starting in 2012, members of the Legislature are now limited to a total of 12 years in office (no matter which house they are in when they serve those years).

Seats in the US House of Representatives and US Senate are not bound by term limits, and members may serve for as long as the voters in their districts reelect them. The current longest-serving member of the legislature is State Senator Jim Nielsen, who served twelve years in the Senate prior to term limits, four years in the Assembly under old term limits, and has served in the Senate since early 2013.

Also of note is Governor Jerry Brown, whose total service as Governor (13 years) has now broken the previous record set by Earl Warren in the 1950s.

As of January 1, 2014, the longest terms that California elected officials have held a single office is:

Name Office Dates Years
George Reilly Board of Equalization
1939-1982 43
Pete Stark US Representative 1973-2013 40
Henry Waxman US Representative 1975-Present (3)
39
George Miller US Representative 1975-Present (3)
39
Vincent Thomas State Assembly 1940-1978 39
Richard E. Collins Board of Equalization 1907-1946 38
U. S. Webb Attorney General 1903-1939 36
Randolph Collier State Senate 1939-1976 36
George E. Brown Jr. US Representative 1963-1971
1973-1999
34
Jerry Lewis US Representative 1979-2013 34
Herbert W. Slater State Senate 1914-1947 33
Charles Johnson Treasurer 1923-1956 33
Chet Holifield US Representative 1942-1974 32
Don Edwards US Representative 1963-1993 32
Willie Brown State Assembly 1964-1996 32
Ralph Dills State Senate 1966-1998 32
David Dreier US Representative 1981-2013 32
Clarence F. Lea US Representative 1917-1949 31.8
Edward Roybal US Representative 1963-1993 30
Al Alquist State Senate 1966-1996 30
John Vasconcellos State Assembly 1966-1996 30
Nicholas Petris State Senate 1966-1996 30
Howard Berman US Representative 1983-2013 30
Frank C. Jordan Secretary of State 1911-1940 29
Milton Marks State Senate 1967-1996 29
Bill Thomas US Representative 1978-2007 29
Ralph E. Swing State Senate 1922-1950 28
Gus Hawkins State Assembly 1934-1962 28
Harry R. Sheppard US Representative 1937-1965 28
Cecil R. King US Representative 1941-1969 28
Hugh M. Burns State Senate 1942-1970 28
Charles J. Conrad State Assembly 1946-1974 28
Frank Lanterman State Assembly 1950-1978 28
John E. Moss US Representative 1951-1979 28
Bob Wilson US Representative 1953-1981 28
Walter W. Stiern State Senate 1958-1986 28
Richard Nevins Board of Equalization 1959-1987 28
Gus Hawkins US Representative 1963-1991 28
Duncan Hunter US Representative 1981-2009 28
Nancy Pelosi US Representative 1987-Present 27
Hiram Johnson US Senate 1917-1945 27
Frank M. Jordan Secretary of State 1943-1970 27
Richard Nevins SBOE 1959-1986 27
Ron Dellums US Representative 1971-1997 27
Robert Matsui US Representative 1971-2005 27
Tom Lantos US Representative 1981-2008 27
Lester A. McMillan State Assembly 1942-1968 26
Elton Gallegly US Representative 1987-2013 26
Wally Herger US Representative 1987-2013 26
Dana Rohrabacher US Representative 1989-Present 25
Julius Kahn US Representative 1899-1903
1905-1924
24
B. F. Rush State Senate 1904-1928 24
Ernest C. Crowley State Assembly 1928-1952 24
Harold J. Powers State Senate 1932-1956 24
Harry L. Parkman State Senate 1932-1956 24
Thomas A. Maloney State Assembly 1932-1956 24
Hugh P. Donnelly State Senate 1942-1966 24
Carley V. Porter State Assembly 1950-1974 24
Donald L. Grunsky State Senate 1952-1976 24
Pauline L. Davis State Assembly 1952-1976 24
B. F. Sisk US Representative 1955-1979 24
Tom Bane State Assembly 1958-1964
1974-1992
24
Glenn M. Anderson US Representative 1969-1993 24
Carlos J. Moorhead US Representative 1973-1997 24
Ruben S. Ayala State Senate 1974-1998 24
Maxine Waters US Representative 1991-Present 23
Alan Cranston US Senate 1969-1993 23
John C. Corbett Board of Equalization 1915-1938 23
S. L. Heisinger State Assembly 1921-1929
1935-1949
22
Lloyd Lowrey State Assembly 1940-1962 22
John L. E. Collier State Assembly 1946-1968 22
Frank P. Belotti State Assembly 1950-1972 22
Charles Gubser US Representative 1953-1974 22
Craig Hosmer US Representative 1953-1974 22
Carlos Bee State Assembly 1954-1976 22
John J. McFall US Representative 1957-1979 22
Albert S. Rodda State Senate 1958-1982 22
Harold T. Johnson US Representative 1959-1981 22
H. L. Richardson State Senate 1966-1988 22
Peter R. Chacon State Assembly 1970-1992 22
Lou Papan State Assembly 1972-1988
1996-2002
22
Newton Russell State Senate 1974-1996 22
Norman Mineta US Representative 1975-1997 22
Dianne Feinstein US Senate 1992-Present 21
Barbara Boxer US Senate 1993-Present 21
Lucille Roybal-Allard US Representative 1993-Present 21
Anna Eshoo US Representative 1993-Present 21
Ed Royce
US Representative 1993-Present 21
Xavier Becerra US Representative 1993-Present 21
Howard "Buck" McKeon
US Representative 1993-Present  (3)
21
Ken Calvert
US Representative 1993-Present 21
Sam Farr
US Representative 1993-Present 20 (1)
Benjamin F. Langford State Senate 1879-1900 21
George C. Perkins US Senate 1893-1915 21
Herbert C. Jones State Senate 1913-1934 21
Don A. Allen Sr. State Assembly 1938-1947
1956-1966
21
J. M. Inman State Senate 1916-1936 20
William Richard Sharkey State Senate 1916-1936 20
Eleanor Miller State Assembly 1922-1942 20
Thomas McCormack State Senate 1928-1948 20
Bradford S. Crittenden State Senate 1930-1950 20
Charles H. Deuel State Senate 1930-1950 20
Arthur H. Breed Jr. State Senate 1938-1958 20
Charles Brown State Senate 1942-1962 20
Clayton Dills State Assembly 1946-1966 20
Luther E. Gibson State Senate 1948-1968 20
Edward E. Elliott State Assembly 1948-1968 20
Charles W. Meyers State Assembly 1948-1968 20
Charles M. Teague US Representative 1955-1975 20
James C. Corman US Representative 1961-1981 20
Leroy Greene State Assembly 1962-1982 20
Bob Beverly State Senate 1976-1996 20
Anthony C. Beilenson US Representative 1977-1997 20
Diane Edith Watson State Senate 1978-1998 20
Lynn C. Woolsey US Representative 1993-2013 20
Bob Filner US Representative 1993-2013 20
Stephen Teale State Senate 1953-1972 19.5
Ken Maddy State Senate 1979-1998 19.5
Alan Robbins State Senate 1973-1991 18.8
John Burton State Assembly 1964-1974
1988-1996
18.2
Zoe Lofgren
US Representative 1995-Present 17
Jim Nielsen
State Senate 1979-1990
2013-Present
13 (2)

(1) Farr reached 20 years of service in Congress on June 17, 2013.
(2) Nielsen will reach 20 years of service in the State Senate on December 3, 2020 (in 2267 days).
(3) This officeholder has indicated that they will not seek reelection in 2014.