The House of Delegates killed a measure Tuesday that would have allowed Virginia's governor to seek two back-to-back terms.
The resolution would have created a referendum to amend the state constitution. Virginia is the only state with a one-term limit for governors.
Supporters could not rescue the bill from a committee where it had been sent yesterday. Their effort came up two votes short, 51-49.
Opponents said it was not a political issue, but about balance of power. They said the governor should relinquish his powers to appoint members to policy-making boards, before being given the chance to serve eight consecutive years in office.
Gov. Mark Warner would not have been eligible to seek re-election under the measure. But he pushed for the change, backed by several of his predecessors, including Republican Linwood Holton and Democrat Doug Wilder.