In Brazil, mayors, governors and president have the right of one consecutive reelection since 1998. (Such right is being reviewed at Congress right now, but it is not relevant to this question). As elections to governors and president happen simultaneously each 4 years, there have been 6 elections since then (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018).

The Rio Grande do Sul state (with ~11 million people) is the only one that never reelected its governor. As a comparison, similar to the US, the last 3 presidents with this opportunity were reelected (Fernando Henrique Cardoso in 1998, Lula da Silva in 2006, and Dilma Rousseff in 2014).

So, is there another similar experience around the world (i.e., a state or country that, given the right, refused to reelect its previous governor or president 6 or more consecutive times)?

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    IMHO, a far more interesting question is, what's so special about Rio Grande do Sul compared to the rest of Brazil which causes this differene?
    – user4012
    Jul 27, 2015 at 3:03
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    What do you mean by “by most consecutive time”? Which countries have restrictions like Brazil's? Which countries have no restrictions? Whether some countries have even stricter restrictions?
    – Relaxed
    Jul 27, 2015 at 6:42
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    Another non-answer: Switzerland. The presidency is held each year by someone different. Some people have served twice but never twice in a row. But they remain members of the federal council (i.e. the government) and are in fact virtually always reelected to the council.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 27, 2015 at 7:21
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    @curiouser I would rather hope you would reformulate your question, I can see that English is not your first language and what you are getting at is difficult to express clearly and concisely but at the moment your last sentence barely makes sense. Reading the comments should not be necessary to understand what you mean!
    – Relaxed
    Jul 29, 2015 at 5:51
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because This is a trivia question tangental to politics not really about politics or policies. Jul 29, 2015 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


It has been some time, but this occurred in the State that I live in. Michigan had six consecutive Governors that lost reelection (1931-1943), if you include a Governor who passed away with the Lieutenant Governor running, and losing reelection.

  1. Wilber M. Bruckner was elected in 1930, serving from January 1, 1931 to January 1, 1933. He lost reelection to William Comstock.
  2. William Comstock was elected in 1932, defeating incumbent Wilber M. Bruckner, serving from January 1, 1933 to January 1, 1935. He lost reelection to Frank Fitzgerald.
  3. Frank Fitzgerald was elected in 1934, defeating incumbent William Comstock, serving from January 1, 1935 to January 1, 1937. He lost reelection to Frank Murphy.
  4. Frank Murphy was elected in 1936, defeating incumbent Frank Fitzgerald, serving from January 1, 1937 to January 1, 1939. He lost reelection to the preceding Governor Frank Fitzgerald.
  5. Frank Fitzgerald was elected in 1938, defeating incumbent Frank Murphy, serving from January 1, 1939 until his death on March 16, 1939. He was succeeded by his Lieutenant Governor Luren Dickinson, who served until January 1, 1941. Governor Dickinson ran for election and was defeated by Murray Van Wagoner.
  6. Murray Van Wagoner was elected in 1940, defeating incumbent Luren Dickinson, serving from January 1, 1941 to January 1, 1943. He lost reelection to Harry Kelly, who went on to serve two consecutive terms.
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    Welcome, and great answer! It reminded me to update the question with the results from 2018 Brazilian general elections. So it is currently a tie and I accepted your answer! If the electoral calendar is maintained we will see 2022 if the draw remains or Rio Grande do Sul electors refuses the incumbent a reelection for the seventh consecutive time ;)
    – curiouser
    Aug 30, 2020 at 13:28
  • I look forward to it ;) Aug 30, 2020 at 18:51

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia is constitutionally prohibited from serving consecutive terms. The governor may be re-elected after an intervening term, but only two governors have done so since 1830:

  • William Smith served as a Democrat from 1846 to 1849 and again from 1864 to 1865. There were two state governments during the Civil War; Smith served under the Confederacy.
  • Mills Edwin Godwin, Jr. served as a Democrat from 1966 to 1970 and as a Republican from 1974 to 1978.

Between 1865 and 1966, there were 26 consecutive governors who were not re-elected.

Since 1978, there have been 11 consecutive governors who have not been re-elected.

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