State Senate District 16 candidate Andrew McKinney has committed his support for term limits in the U.S. Congress by the Term Limits Convention pledge.

U.S. Term Limits (USTL), a national, nonpartisan movement to limit terms for elected officials, is gathering support from state lawmakers across the nation. Its mission is to get 34 states to apply for an amendment proposal convention specific to term limits on Congress.

“Andrew’s support of term limits shows that there are individuals who are willing to listen to the majority of voters who want term limits,” said USTL President Philip Blumel. “America needs a Congress that will be served by citizen legislators, not career politicians.”

In the 1995 case, Thornton v. U.S. Term Limits, the Supreme Court of the United States opined that only a constitutional amendment could limit the terms of U.S. senators and representatives. Nick Tomboulides, executive director of USTL, said the best chance of imposing term limits on Congress is through an Article V Proposal Convention of state legislatures.

“The Constitution allows for amendments to be proposed by either two-thirds of Congress or two-thirds of the states. While we’d like for Congress to take the high road and propose term limits on itself, our goal is to trigger the latter, a national convention specifically for a term limits amendment,” Tomboulides said. “That is why it is important to get buy-in from state legislators.”

Once proposed, the amendment must be ratified by 38 states.

McKinney, a Cottage Grove resident and president of the Monona Grove School Board, announced in January his intention to seek the state senate seat held by Mark Miller, who decided not to seek another term. McKinney first was going to run as an independent, but two months later, changed his mind and is now running as a Democrat.

He acknowledged that a third-party bid had little chance of success, and that government is run by a two-party system.

“After much discussion with my family, my leadership team and my supporters, I have decided to change party line affiliations in my run for the state senate,” he said. “My personal values and platform lineup with Democratic principles and values. Although I tend to take a more moderate stance on some issues, I have decided to run as a Democrat. This decision was not made lightly but with much thought and deliberation. I think my candidacy and platform will appeal to independents a well as Democrats.”

In the Aug. 11 primary, voters will choose between McKinney and state Rep. Melissa Sargent. The winner will take on Republican Scott Barker on Nov. 3.

The district covers much of east and north Madison, along with Sun Prairie, Cottage Grove, Monona, McFarland and Stoughton.

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