JoinCalifornia: Election History for the State of California

Information Home Advanced Search Elected Offices Redistricting Elections by Decade
Candidates Longest Service Shortest Service Recalls
Political Parties Democratic Republican Americans Elect Am. Independent Green Libertarian Peace & Freedom No Party Preference
Legislator Databases

[search tips] [advanced search]

Searching tips

  • Enter a candidate's name to find a candidate
  • Enter the name of a political party to find the party and all candidates
  • Enter a date to find an election
  • Enter a year to find all elections within that year

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 (12 years) has now broken the previous record set by Earl Warren in the 1950s.

As of January 3, 2015, 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 1975-2015 40
George Miller US Representative 1975-2015
40
Richard E. Collins Board of Equalization 1907-1946 38
Vincent Thomas State Assembly 1940-1978 38
Randolph Collier State Senate 1939-1976 37
U. S. Webb Attorney General 1903-1939 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
John L. E. Collier State Assembly 1947-1978 32
Don Edwards US Representative 1963-1993 32
Ralph Dills State Senate 1966-1998 32
David Dreier US Representative 1981-2013 32
Clarence F. Lea US Representative 1917-1949 31.8
Willie Brown State Assembly 1964-1995 31
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
Milton Marks State Senate 1967-1996 29.5
Frank C. Jordan Secretary of State 1911-1940 29
Bill Thomas US Representative 1978-2007 29
Ralph E. Swing State Senate 1923-1950 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 1943-1970 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 28
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 1943-1968 26
Charles J. Conrad State Assembly 1946-1972 26
Elton Gallegly US Representative 1987-2013 26
Wally Herger US Representative 1987-2013 26
Dana Rohrabacher US Representative 1989-Present 26
James J. McBride State Senate 1937-1961 25
Ruben S. Ayala State Senate 1974-1998 25
Julius Kahn US Representative 1899-1903
1905-1924
24
B. F. Rush State Senate 1905-1928 24
Ernest C. Crowley State Assembly 1929-1952 24
Harry L. Parkman State Senate 1933-1956 24
Thomas A. Maloney State Assembly 1933-1956 24
Vernon Kilpatrick State Assembly 1939-1962 24
Hugh P. Donnelly State Senate 1943-1966 24
Carley V. Porter State Assembly 1951-1974 24
Donald L. Grunsky State Senate 1953-1976 24
Pauline L. Davis State Assembly 1953-1976 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
Maxine Waters US Representative 1991-Present 24
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
25
Lloyd Lowrey State Assembly 1940-1962 22
Frank P. Belotti State Assembly 1951-1972 22
Charles Gubser US Representative 1953-1974 22
Craig Hosmer US Representative 1953-1974 22
Carlos Bee State Assembly 1955-1976 22
John J. McFall US Representative 1957-1979 22
Albert S. Rodda State Senate 1959-1982 22
Harold T. Johnson US Representative 1959-1981 22
Edward M. Gaffney State Assembly 1941-1964 22
H. L. Richardson State Senate 1967-1988 22
Peter R. Chacon State Assembly 1971-1992 22
Harold J. Powers State Senate 1933-1953 21
Lou Papan State Assembly 1973-1986
1997-2002
20
Newton Russell State Senate 1974-1996 22
Norman Mineta US Representative 1975-1997 22
Dianne Feinstein US Senate 1992-Present 22
Barbara Boxer US Senate 1993-Present 22
Lucille Roybal-Allard US Representative 1993-Present 22
Anna Eshoo US Representative 1993-Present 22
Ed Royce
US Representative 1993-Present 22
Xavier Becerra US Representative 1993-Present 22
Howard "Buck" McKeon
US Representative 1993-2015
22
George A. Clarke
State Assembly 1913-1914
1923-1924
1939-1956
22
Ken Calvert
US Representative 1993-Present 22
Sam Farr
US Representative 1993-Present 21 (1)
Charles Brown State Senate 1939-1962 24
Clayton Dills State Assembly 1943-1966 24
Arthur H. Breed, Sr. State Senate 1913-1934 22
Herbert C. Jones State Senate 1913-1934 22
Edward E. Elliott State Assembly 1947-1968 22
John F. McCarthy State Senate 1950-1971 22
Benjamin F. Langford State Senate 1879-1900 21
George C. Perkins US Senate 1893-1915 21
David Roberti State Senate 1971-1992 21
William H. Lancaster State Assembly 1972-1992 20.5
J. M. Inman State Senate 1916-1936 20
William Richard Sharkey State Senate 1911-1936 20
Eleanor Miller State Assembly 1921-1942 20
Thomas McCormack State Senate 1929-1948 20
Bradford S. Crittenden State Senate 1931-1950 20
Charles H. Deuel State Senate 1931-1950 20
Arthur H. Breed Jr. State Senate 1939-1958 20
W. P. Rich State Senate 1931-1950 20
Richard H. McCollister State Assembly 1941-1960 20
Charles W. Meyers State Assembly 1949-1968 20
Luther E. Gibson State Senate 1949-1968 20
George Miller Jr. State Senate 1949-1969 20
Alan Short State Senate 1955-1974 20
Charles M. Teague US Representative 1955-1975 20
John W. Holmdahl State Senate 1959-1966
1971-1982
20
John T. Knox State Assembly 1961-1980 20
James C. Corman US Representative 1961-1981 20
Leroy Greene State Assembly 1963-1982 20
Robert B. Presley State Senate 1975-1994 20
Bob Beverly State Senate 1977-1996 20
Anthony C. Beilenson US Representative 1977-1997 20
Tom Bates State Assembly 1977-1996 20
Diane Edith Watson State Senate 1978-1998 20
William A. Craven State Senate 1979-1998 20
Lynn C. Woolsey US Representative 1993-2013 20
Bob Filner US Representative 1993-2013 20
Zoe Lofgren
US Representative 1995-Present 20
Stephen Teale State Senate 1953-1972 19.5
Ken Maddy State Senate 1979-1998 19.5
Chris N. Jespersen State Senate 1933-1951 19
Thomas J. Doyle State Assembly 1939-1957 19
Ralph M. Brown State Assembly 1943-1961 19
Alan Robbins State Senate 1973-1991 19
Don A. Allen Sr. State Assembly 1939-1947
1957-1966
18.5
John Burton State Assembly 1965-1974
1988-1996
18
Jim Nielsen
State Senate 1979-1990
2013-Present
14 (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 2177 days).