Kathryn DePalo, Ph.D.


Florida International University

Phone: 305-348-2859

Address: 11200 SW 8th St., SIPA 415

City: Miami, Florida - 33199

Country: United States

About Me:

Kathryn DePalo received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Florida International University in 2006. Her book, The Failure of Term Limits in Florida was published in 2015 from the University Press of Florida and examines the effects of term limits on Florida’s state legislature. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Connecticut. Dr. DePalo has extensive experience in state and local government processes and elections both in Connecticut and Florida. She has managed several campaigns, including a successful countywide judicial campaign in Broward County, Florida. Her teaching focus is American politics, including judicial process, gender and politics, and state and local government. Dr. DePalo’s primary research interest is in Florida politics, and has published on topics such as state judicial selection, the effects of gender in state legislative politics, and career paths of term-limited legislators. Dr. DePalo is the Director of PLATO, Pre-Law Advising and Training Office. She is the past president of the Florida Political Science Association. Dr. DePalo has been quoted in numerous local, national, and international media outlets and is a featured columnist for the Sayfie Review. Dr. DePalo has been a full-time faculty member in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University since 2006.

Research Interests

American Presidency And Executive Politics

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

Gender and Politics

Legislative Politics

State and Local Politics

Political Participation

Specific Areas of Interest

Florida Politics

Countries of Interest

United States


Books Written:

(2015) The Failure of Term Limits in Florida, University Press of Florida

Tags: State and Local Politics

"The definitive account of how term limits have reshaped contemporary Florida politics."--Seth C. McKee, author of Republican Ascendancy in Southern U.S. House Elections "If you want to know why term limits were adopted in Florida and how they have changed the legislature and lawmaking process and the balance of power between institutional actors you absolutely have to read this book."--Aubrey Jewett, coauthor of Politics in Florida, Third Edition In 1992, Florida voters approved an amendment to the state's Constitution creating eight-year term limits for legislators--making Florida the second-largest state to implement such a law. Eight years later, sixty-eight term-limited senators and representatives were forced to retire, and the state saw the highest number of freshman legislators since the first legislative session in 1845. Proponents view term limits as part of a battle against the rising political class and argue that limits will foster a more honest and creative body with ideal "citizen" legislators. However, in this comprehensive twenty-year study, the first of its kind to examine the effects of term limits in Florida, Kathryn DePalo shows nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, these limits created a more powerful governor, legislative staffers, and lobbyists. Because incumbency is now certain, leadership races--especially for Speaker--are sometimes completed before members have even cast a single vote. Furthermore, legislators rarely leave public office; they simply return to local offices where they continue to exert influence.

Media Appearances:

TV Appearances:

(2018) WPLG ABC Local 10- Miami

“Political Science Experts Discuss Florida Governor’s Race,” This Week in South Florida,

(2018) NBC 6 - Miami

“A Look at the Primary for Florida’s District 27,” by Steve Litz,

(2018) Fox News

“Miami House Race Once Seen as Easy Dem Pickup Tightens,” by Allie Raffa,

(2018) WPBT 2 Miami

"Florida Legislative Session 2018- Scandal and Priorities,”

Newspaper Quotes:

(2018) USA Today

“Parkland, hurricanes and Trump shaping Florida Senate race between Rick Scott and Bill Nelson,” by Ledyard King

(2018) Miami New Times

“Anti-Trump Fervor is Driving Dozens of Florida Women to Run for Office,” by Brittany Shammas,

(2018) Washington Examiner

“Carlos Curbelo, the Republican who's all in on climate change,” by Josh Siegel,