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United States elections, 2013

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United States elections, 2013

2013 United States elections
Off-year elections
Election day November 5
Congressional special elections
Seats contested Two Senate and six House seats
Net change 0
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested 2
Net change Democrats +1
Color coded map of the 2013 gubernatorial races
Map of the 2013 gubernatorial races
Light red: Term-limited Republican
Dark red: Republican incumbent
Gray: no election

The 2013 United States general elections were held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. This off-year election featured several special elections to the United States Congress; two gubernatorial races; state legislative elections in a few states; and numerous citizen initiatives, mayoral races, and a variety of other local offices on the ballot.

The Democrats picked up the governorship in Virginia as Terry McAuliffe was elected to replace term-limited Republican Bob McDonnell. Meanwhile, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was re-elected to a second term.

Congressional special elections were held throughout the year. In total, two Senate seats and six House seats were contested, but none of them changed party hands.

113th Congress

Special Senate


On December 21, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Massachusetts U.S. Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State. Kerry was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 29, 2013, by a vote of 94-3.[1] Following the vote, Kerry resigned his Senate seat effective at February 1, 2013, at 4 p.m.[2] Massachusetts law required a special election within 145 to 160 days after the vacancy occurred and allowed Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint an interim senator until the winner of the special election can be sworn in.[3] Patrick announced on January 30, 2013, that he would appoint his former Chief of Staff Mo Cowan to serve as the interim Senator. Cowan was sworn-in by Vice President of the United States Joe Biden on February 7, 2013.[4] Cowan did not run in the special election.[5] Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin set the dates for the election with the primaries on April 30, 2013, and the general election on June 25, 2013.[6]

Democratic Congressman Ed Markey declared his candidacy on December 27, 2012,[7] and was the favorite of the Democratic establishment, receiving endorsements from Kerry, Victoria Kennedy (the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.[8] U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch also sought the Democratic Nomination.[9] Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown was considered the overwhelming Republican favorite, but announced on February 1, 2013, that he would not run in the special election.[10] Kerry was re-elected in 2008 with 66 percent of the vote.[11]

On April 30, 2013, Markey easily defeated Lynch to secure the Democratic nomination taking over 57 percent of the over 550,000 cast.[12] Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL won the Republican nomination taking 51 percent of about 190,000 votes cast; defeating former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former Acting Director Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Michael Sullivan who had 36 percent and state Rep. Daniel Winslow, who had 13 percent.[12]

Markey easily defeated Gomez on June 25, 2013, capturing over 625,000 votes of approximately 1.2 million cast, garnering approximately 55 percent to Gomez's 45 percent and less than 1 percent for Richard Heos, nominee of the Twelve Vision's Party.[13]

New Jersey

89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who had already announced retirement plans[14] died on June 3, 2013.[15] On June 4, 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set the dates for the special election with the primaries being held on August 13, 2013, and the General Election being held on October 16, 2013.[16] On June 6, 2013, Christie announced the appointment of New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to serve as the interim Senator until the winner of the special can be sworn in.[17] Chiesa announced he would not run in the special election and was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on June 10, 2013.[18]

Newark Mayor Cory Booker,[19] won the Democratic nomination over Congressmen Rush D. Holt, Jr.[20] and Frank Pallone,[21] and New Jersey General Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.[22] Steve Lonegan, a former Mayor of Bogota backed by the Tea Party and a two-time GOP primary candidate for Governor of New Jersey,[23] won the Republican nomination over health care reform advocate Alieta Eck.[24]

The election on October 16, 2013, was won by Cory Booker with 54.6% of the vote, against 44.3% for Steve Lonegan.[25]

Special House of Representatives

This off-year election will feature special elections to the 113th United States Congress to fill any vacancies due to resignations or deaths. Thus far, six special elections have taken place or will take place to fill seats in the United States House of Representatives. Two were due to Congressmen taking seats in the United States Senate (Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ed Markey of Massachusetts), two resigned to take jobs in the private sector (Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri and Jo Bonner of Alabama), and Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned due to an impending federal indictment of misuse of campaign funds.

Illinois's 2nd Congressional District

Jesse Jackson, Jr. resigned on November 21, 2012 following a months-long battle with bipolar disorder and due to being subject to a federal investigation over the possible misuse of campaign funds.[26] Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn first scheduled the primary elections for February 26, coinciding with municipal primary elections, and initially set the general election for March 19. However, legislation was enacted at Quinn's request to allow the general election to coincide with municipal general elections held on April 9.[27]

Democratic nominee Robin Kelly defeated Republican nominee Paul McKinley on April 9, 2013, taking 71 percent of about 82,000 votes cast.[28] Kelly was sworn in to Congress on April 11, 2013.[29]

South Carolina's 1st Congressional District

On December 17, 2012, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced the appointment of U.S. Rep. Tim Scott[30] to the United States Senate to replace the resigning Jim DeMint. Scott's resignation from Congress became effective January 2, 2013 and Haley ordered the special election to replace him on the same day, with primary election being held on March 19, with runoffs on April 2 and the general election on May 7.[31] On March 19, 2013, former Gov. Mark Sanford, who held the seat from 1995-2001, with 36 percent, and former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, with 13 percent, placed in the top two of a 16-person field,[32] advanced from the Republican primary to a runoff on April 2, 2013. Sanford defeated Bostic in the runoff with 57 percent of over 46,000 votes cast.[33]

On May 7, 2013, Sanford defeated Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. taking 54 percent of over 140,000 votes cast.[34] Sanford was sworn in to Congress on May 15, 2013.[35]

Missouri's 8th Congressional District

On December 3, 2012, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson announced her intention to resign from Congress, which became effective on January 22, 2013,[36] to become the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in March 2013.[37] State law allows the Republican and Democratic parties to select their own nominees without a primary.[38] Gov. Jay Nixon set the date for the special election to be June 4, 2013.[36] Missouri state Rep. Jason Smith was chosen as the GOP candidate on February 9, 2013.[39] The Missouri Democratic Party chose state Rep. John Hodges as its nominee on February 16, 2013.[40] Also on the Special General Election Ballot were Libertarian Party nominee Bill Slantz and Constitution Party nominee Doug Enyart.[41] Smith was easily elected on June 4, 2013, taking 68 percent of the vote[42] and was sworn-in by House Speaker John Boehner on June 5, 2013[43] in a ceremony that was attended by Emerson, most of Missouri's Congressional Delegation and Missouri's Republican Sen. Roy Blunt.

Massachusetts's 5th Congressional District

On June 25, 2013, 19-term U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) defeated Republican Gabriel Gomez[13] in the special election to fill the remaining 18-months of the unexpired term of the Class II United States Senate seat caused by Sen. John Kerry's confirmation as Secretary of State. Markey resigned from the House of Representatives on July 15, 2013. The special election has been scheduled for December 10, 2013.[44] Its primary elections took place on October 15. The Democrat is state senator Katherine Clark and the Republican is lawyer Frank Addivinola.

Clark defeated Addivinola on December 10, 2013, with 66 percent of the vote[45] and was sworn-in by Boehner on December 12, 2013.[46]

Alabama's 1st Congressional District

On May 23, 2013, Republican U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner announced his intention to resign from Congress to become the Vice Chancellor of Government Relations and Economic Development with the University of Alabama System.,[47] with his resignation becoming effective at midnight on August 15, 2013.[48] This was later moved up to August 2. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley set the dates for the special election. Primary elections were held on September 24. The Democratic primary was won by Burton LeFlore, a real estate agent, with 70.2% of the vote. On the Republican side, the top two vote-getters in the primary, Bradley Byrne, a former State Senator, and Dean Young, a businessman, advanced to a runoff on November 5. Byrne won the runoff, thus becoming his party's nominee.[49][50] Byrne then went on to win the general election on December 17 by a wide margin.[51]

Louisiana's 5th Congressional District

On August 6, 2013, six-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander announced plans to not seek a 7th term, citing the partisan gridlock in Congress.[52] On August 7, 2013, Alexander announced that he would not serve the remaining time left in his term and would instead resign effective September 26, 2013,[53] and became the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs under Governor Bobby Jindal. On August 8, 2013, Jindal issued an executive order setting the dates for the special election with the primary being held on October 19, 2013, and the general election on November 16, 2013.[54] Louisiana operates under a jungle primary where candidates do not run for the nominations of individual parties but all run on one ballot and the top two vote getters advance to the general election.

On October 19, 2013, state Sen. Neil Riser (with 31.97 percent) and businessman Vance McAllister (with 17.79 percent), both Republicans, advanced to the general election, which will be held on November 16.

On November 16, 2013, McAllister defeated Riser in the run-off with 60 percent of the vote,[55] and was sworn-in by Boehner on November 21, 2013.[56]

State elections


Two states held gubernatorial elections in 2013:

  • New Jersey: Republican Chris Christie ran for a second term and was challenged for the GOP nomination by Seth Grossman, a Republican lawyer and former Atlantic City Councilman.[57] The declared Democratic Candidates were State Senator Barbara Buono and Troy Webster. On June 4, 2013, Christie defeated Grossman to secure the GOP nomination with 92 percent of the vote[58] and Buono defeated Webster for the Democratic nomination with 88 percent of the vote.[58] Christie then won re-election on November 5.[59]

State legislatures

Legislative elections were held for the New Jersey Senate, New Jersey General Assembly, and the Virginia House of Delegates. In New Jersey, Democrats retained control of their 24-16 majority in the Senate and also retained their majority in the General Assembly though they did lose two seats to Republicans.[61]

State courts

Judicial elections were held for New York State Supreme Court in most of its 13 Judicial Districts.


Several states had referenda on propositions and/or state constitutional amendments on the ballot in November 2013, including a non-binding vote to create a new state in Northern Colorado, tax and marijuana issues in Colorado, an initiative to require labeling of genetically modified food in the state of Washington, and an amendment to raise the minimum wage in New Jersey.[62]

New Yorkers voted to amend its constitution in several minor ways, but voted against raising the retirement age for judges.

Municipal elections

Various elections were held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts and others around the country.

Mayoral elections

Some of the large cities holding mayoral elections included:[63]

Other local elections

Some of the major local elections included:


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  52. ^ """Alexandra Jaffe, "Rodney Alexander to retire from House. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  53. ^ McGaughy, Lauren (August 7, 2013). "Rodney Alexander to join Jindal administration, departure from Congress will trigger special election".  
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  77. ^ Munzenrieder, Kyle (May 29, 2013). "Carlos Gimenez and Most City Commissioners Supporting Tomas Regalado's Opponent in Miami Mayor's Race". Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
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  80. ^ "". Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  81. ^ Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner wins election to a second term

External links

  • Analysis of major mayoral elections, 2013 at DailyKos
  • Spreadsheet of major state and local elections, 2013 at DailyKos
  • 2013 State and Local Election Preview at Governing (magazine)
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendments at the official New York state government website
  • Ballot measure results
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