State Rep. Keith McCall spent 28 years in Harrisburg. In that span, he ran for office 14 times every two years.

This means up to 25 percent of his time in office was possibly spent campaigning.

State lawmakers have to run for office every two years. Running campaigns is time consuming, distracting, and expensive. It's necessary, but terms should be increased.

Borough councilmen, school board members, county commissioners, governors, and even presidents are elected to four-year terms. So why not state representatives?

State senators are elected every four years, but their terms are staggered. Half the senators are elected one time and two years later the other seats come up for a vote.

This could be done in the House of Representatives.

Much better time could be spent by legislators taking care of state business than worrying about having to campaign so frequently.

The campaigns are not only expensive to the incumbent, but also to the challengers for the seat. Having to run every two years makes it pretty difficult for those who aren't incumbent to continue issuing challenges for more than one or two consecutive elections.

Hopefully some discussion - following by action - will occur in Harrisburg about increasing the length of terms for our representatives.

If they do have such discussions, may they can also discuss term limits.

And then, if they really have their constituents at heart, they might even consider downsizing the legislature by re-designing the legislative districts.

Does Pennsylvania really need 253 legislators, who incidentally are among the highest paid legislators in the nation? Even New York has 211, California has 120 (less than half of Pennsylvania), and Texas has 181.

Especially with the current fiscal crisis of the state, wouldn't reducing the size of government help the situation tremendously?

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com