2013 Elections review: Democrats take control of two Virginia races and Christie breaks a record

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November 5, 2013

By The State Executive Officials Team

Voters in New Jersey and Virginia headed to the polls today to cast their votes in the off-year state executive elections. Virginia garnered the most attention with open seats for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Meanwhile, Garden State citizens had to decided whether to give the incumbent team of Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno another four years in office.

For anyone who has been watching the polls, the night offered few surprises. Christie and Guadagno easily won re-election. The race for Governor of Virginia was closer than it had been indicated, but as expected Terry McAuliffe (D) pulled out the win, as did Ralph Northam in his bid for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Meanwhile, the one race considered a toss-up - the contest for Virginia Attorney General - was too close to call with over 99 percent reporting.

New Jersey Governor and Lieutenant Governor

See also: New Jersey gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013


Within minutes of the polls closing, the AP reported Gov. Chris Christie (R) and running mate Kim Guadagno (R) won re-election. Never in doubt, Christie held a comfortable lead in the polls throughout the race. The last time a Republican candidate received over 50 percent in the state was back in 1988.[1] Going into the race Christie said he hoped to break the record, something he sought to do in 2009 but came short of, defeating incumbent Jon Corzine (D) by a margin of 48.5 percent to 44.9 percent. Tonight he easily broke the record with unofficial results showing him taking a whopping 60.5 percent of the vote. The Democratic ticket of State Senator Barbara Buono and Milly Silva came in second with 38 percent. Six third-party challengers also ran. None of them earned more than 0.6 percent.

Conceding defeat, Buono said of the race “when it comes down to it, we’re just two parents who want to see the best for our children’s future.” She also noted the lack of support from national Democratic groups, saying her supporters "withstood the onslaught of betrayal from our own political party."[2]

With Christie’s success in a Democratic state, many see him as a top contender to run for President in 2016. While he has not announced any plans to run, he hasn’t ruled it out. New Jersey governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait four years before being eligible to run again. If he does run for President and leave office early, Guadagno would assume the governorship.[3] On November 5, 2013, Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno (R) won re-election as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey. They defeated the Buono/Silva (D), Kaplan/Bell (L), Welzer/Alessandrini (I), Sare/Todd (I), Araujo/Salamanca (I), Schroeder/Moschella (I) and Boss/Thorne (I) ticket(s) in the general election.

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChris Christie & Kim Guadagno 60.3% 1,278,932
     Democratic Barbara Buono & Milly Silva 38.2% 809,978
     Libertarian Kenneth Kaplan & Brenda Bell 0.6% 12,155
     Independent Steven Welzer & Patricia Alessandrini 0.4% 8,295
     Independent Diane Sare & Bruce Todd 0.2% 3,360
     Independent William Araujo & Maria Salamanca 0.2% 3,300
     Independent Hank Schroeder & Patricia Moschella 0.1% 2,784
     Independent Jeff Boss & Robert Thorne 0.1% 2,062
Total Votes 2,120,866
Election Results Via: New Jersey Department of State

Virginia Governor

See also: Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013

Terry McAuliffe.jpg

Replete with controversies, the battle for the Virginia governorship between Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) made national headlines, with mud-slinging continuing up to election day. McAuliffe has consistently led in the polls, albeit with widely varying margins. Libertarian Robert Sarvis managed to regularly garner double-digits.

As results rolled in, Cuccinelli held a small lead over McAuliffe for a good portion of the night, but once the lead went to McAuliffe it never went back.[4] In the end, with over 99 percent reporting, unofficial results showed McAuliffe topping Cuccinelli 47.57 percent to 45.42 percent. Sarvis, meanwhile, took 6.58 percent.[5]

Virginia Gubernatorial General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTerry McAuliffe 47.8% 1,069,789
     Republican Ken Cuccinelli 45.2% 1,013,354
     Libertarian Robert Sarvis 6.5% 146,084
     N/A Write-in 0.5% 11,087
Total Votes 2,240,314
Election Results via Virginia State Board of Elections.

Virginia Lieutenant Governor

See also: Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013

Ralph Northam.jpg

Early in the night the race for Virginia Lieutenant Governor was called for Democratic State Senator Ralph Northam over Republican E.W. Jackson.[6] Jackson, a minister at Exodus Faith Ministries, a nondenominational church in Chesapeake, Virginia, consistently trailed in the polls. Winning a surprise victory at the Virginia Republican convention, Jackson became known for his controversial comments, including anti-gay remarks.[7]

Virginia Lieutenant Gubernatorial General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRalph Northam 55.1% 1,213,155
     Republican E.W. Jackson 44.5% 980,257
     N/A Write-in 0.3% 7,472
Total Votes 2,200,884
Election Results via Virginia State Board of Elections.

Virginia Attorney General

See also: Virginia attorney general election, 2013

Mark Obenshain.jpg
Mark Herring.jpg

Long considered the only competitive state executive race of the night, Republicans put their hope for avoiding a clean sweep on State Senator Mark Obenshain defeating fellow Senator Mark Herring (D). The difference between the two in the polls was consistently within the margin of error. With over 99 percent reporting, the race remained too close to call as of midnight on election day, with Obenshain leading 50.07 percent to 49.72 percent.[5] Herring would not concede, and by the following morning, the Democrat had gained enough votes to put him ahead, albeit by hundredths of a point. The difference between them hovers under 1,000 votes, and within the 1% margin necessary for the "apparent losing candidate" to request a re-count.[8][9][10][11]

Recount: Virginia Attorney General General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Herring (MOV post-recount +907) 50% 1,105,045
     Republican Mark Obenshain 50% 1,104,138
Total Votes 2,209,183
Election Results Virginia State Board of Elections.
Virginia Attorney General General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Herring (MOV pre-recount +165) 49.9% 1,103,777
     Republican Mark Obenshain 49.9% 1,103,612
     N/A Write-In 0.2% 4,892
Total Votes 2,212,281
Election Results via Virginia State Board of Elections.

See also


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