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Virginia state executive official elections, 2013

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Three state executive positions were up for election in 2013 in the Commonwealth of Virginia:

The general election was held on November 5, 2013 following a Democratic primary election on June 11, 2013 and a Republican statewide convention on May 17-18, 2013.[1]

Heading into the 2013 election season, all three state executive offices had Republican incumbents, and not one sought re-election. Governor Bob McDonnell was ineligible to run due to term limits, while both Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli decided to forgo possible re-election to their respective posts in hope of being elected to succeed McDonnell. The combination of Cuccinelli's bid and the Republican Party's shift to a closed primary convention in 2013 ultimately compelled Bolling, who had once been considered the front runner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, to opt out of the governor's race. After canceling his bid for the governorship, Bolling refused to settle for another term as lieutenant governor, leaving three open seats for the Democrats to claim.

Replete with controversies, the battle for the Virginia governorship between retiring AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) and businessman Terry McAuliffe (D) made national headlines, with mud-slinging continuing up to election day. McAuliffe had consistently led in the polls and was expected to score a fairly easy victory.[2] In the end, the race was much closer than anticipated. After his early lead - which came as a surprise to many who had followed the campaigns - slipped away, Cuccinelli conceded at 11pm on election night. Cuccinelli said that the close race was a testament to Virginians' opposition to Obamacare, one of the central issues of Cuccinelli's campaign. “Despite being outspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of Obamacare,” Cuccinelli said.[3][4]

The lieutenant governor race was called for Democratic state Senator Ralph Northam over Republican E.W. Jackson early on election night.[5] 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.[6]

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) for attorney general. 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. 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.[7][8][9] A battle over provisional ballots ensued, centering around Fairfax County, a Democratic stronghold. The county's electoral board had to reassess their count based on a recent procedural change, and their eventual results gave Herring enough of a boost in the statewide totals that he declared himself the winner, but Obenshain would not concede "the closest statewide election in Virginia history."[10][11]

On November 25, 2013, the State Board of Election board certified Herring's victory by a razor-thin margin of 165 votes out of 2.2 million cast[12][13]

Since the margin was equal to or less than 0.5 percent of the total vote, Obenshain was allowed to request a public-financed recount, which he did on November 27. Herring became the first Democrat to control the office in almost two decades when Obenshain conceded the race December 18th after unofficial results showed Herring gained almost 800 votes in the recount.[14][15][16][17]

Virginia's 2013 electoral cycle concluded with three victories by Democratic candidates in open races for Republican-held seats, marking a complete partisan overhaul of Virginia's top-tier executive branch.

Deadline Event
March 28 Last day to file candidacy for primary election
May 17-18 Republican primary convention
May 20 Voter registration deadline for primary election
June 11 Primary election, last day for non-party candidates to file candidacy
June 17 Last day for Independent candidates to file for general election
Oct. 15 Voter registration deadline for general election
Nov. 5 General election

Results

General election

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 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.


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.

Primary election

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Democratic Primary Election, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRalph Northam 54.2% 78,337
Aneesh Chopra 45.8% 66,098
Total Votes 144,435
Election Results Via:Virginia State Board of Elections.


Attorney General of Virginia Democratic Primary Election, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMark Herring 51.7% 72,861
Justin Fairfax 48.3% 68,177
Total Votes 141,038
Election Results Via:Virginia State Board of Elections.


Candidates

Governor

General election



Lieutenant Governor

General election



Attorney General

General election

Note: Recount likely


Nominating conventions in Virginia

The candidate selection process in Virginia differs between the political parties. According to the Code of Virginia:[45]

“The duly constituted authorities of the state political party shall have the right to determine the method by which a party nomination for a member of the United States Senate or for any statewide office shall be made. The duly constituted authorities of the political party for the district, county, city, or town in which any other office is to be filled shall have the right to determine the method by which a party nomination for that office shall be made.”

Democratic Party

The Democratic Party in Virginia used conventions to select nominees for statewide offices between 1981 and 2001 before shifting to primaries. The Virginia Democratic Party switched to the convention format for the 1981 election cycle to moderate the party after independent candidate Henry Howell won the 1977 primary. The nominating convention proved successful for Democrats in the 1980s with the election of Chuck Robb in 1981, Gerald Baliles in 1985 and Douglas Wilder in 1989. The change back to primaries in 2001 took place because of significant losses in state elections by the Democrats in 1993 and 1997. The Democratic Party did not hold a gubernatorial primary in the 2001 and 2005 election cycles as Mark Warner and Tim Kaine ran unopposed.[46]

Republican Party

The Republican Party in Virginia has used conventions to select nominees for statewide offices for much of its history. Republicans have only used primaries to nominate candidates in 1949, 1989, 1997 and 2005.[46] The convention process used in most elections draws from delegates selected by Republicans during municipal and county conventions. The number of delegates per county depends on the strength of the Republican Party in past elections.[47]

Delegates cast their votes on separate ballots for each statewide office. Any candidates who are uncontested automatically receive the party’s nomination. Contested races start with a ballot to determine if a candidate can surpass the 50% threshold. A candidate who wins more than 50% of first-round ballots receives the nomination for that office. If the first round of ballots does not clear this threshold, the two candidates with the fewest votes are eliminated. The balloting process cuts candidates in each round until three candidates remain. A ballot is taken to eliminate a third-place finisher and a final ballot is taken between the two remaining candidates.[48]

News

See also

External links

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References

  1. Virginia Board of Elections, "Schedule of general elections as of May 11, 2012," accessed June 18, 2012
  2. FOX News, “Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins Va. governor’s race, Fox News projects,” November 5, 2013
  3. Politico, Terry McAuliffe edges Ken Cuccinelli; Chris Christie coasts, November 6, 2013
  4. Virginia State Board of Elections, “ Unofficial Results – General Election – November 5, 2013”
  5. NBC News, “ Democrat to win Lieutenant Governor’s race in Va.” November 5, 2013
  6. Huffington Post, “VA Election Results: Ralph Northam Beats E.W. Jackson in Lieutenant Governor’s Race,” November 5, 2013
  7. The Washington Post, "Obenshain, Herring in dead heat in Virginia attorney general’s race; recount expected," November 6, 2013
  8. NBC 12, "Race for Virginia Attorney General too close to call," November 5, 2013
  9. Virginia State Board of Elections, " Virginia Recounts and Contests – the Basics," accessed November 6, 2013
  10. NBC Washington, "In Va. Attorney General Race, Herring Ahead by 163 Votes," November 12, 2013
  11. The Charlotte Observer, "Democrat Herring widens lead in Va.'s AG race," November 12, 2013
  12. Politico, "Mark Obenshain weighs recount in Virginia attorney general race," November 25, 2013
  13. Politico, "Virginia attorney general: 'Anyone's race'," November 8, 2013
  14. Politico, "Mark Obenshain to request recount in Virginia attorney general race," November 26, 2013
  15. Politico, "Mark Obenshain weighs recount in Virginia attorney general race," November 25, 2013
  16. Watchdog Virginia, "Undervotes loom large in AG recount bid," November 27, 2013
  17. Washington Post, Obenshain concedes Virginia attorney general’s race to Herring, December 18, 2013
  18. Washington Post.com, "Cuccinelli revved up to race McAuliffe for Virginia governor," January 4, 2012
  19. Washington Post.com, "Cuccinelli revved up to race McAuliffe for Virginia governor," January 4, 2012
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named gopnom
  21. The Washington Times, "Va. AG Cuccinelli will defy tradition, stay on job while campaigning," January 14, 2013
  22. "Robert Sarvis". http://mercatus.org/robert-sarvis. Retrieved on 2013-05-18. 
  23. Libertarian Party of Virginia, "LOVA Calls Special Convention for April 21," April 4, 2013
  24. The Independent Political Report, "Robert Sarvis Receives Libertarian Party of Virginia Nomination for Governor in 2013," April 22, 2013
  25. FoxNews.com, "Gatecrasher for Governor: Tareq Salahi wants to call Virginia statehouse home," April 25, 2012
  26. News Times, "In Virginia, the top newsmakers to watch in 2013," December 23, 2012
  27. The Washington Post, "Salahi announces independent run for Va. governor," January 14, 2013
  28. Pilot Online, Va. Beach's Parmele starts write-in campaign, August 20, 2013
  29. 29.0 29.1 The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Bolling says major announcement set for March 14," February 7, 2013
  30. Bill Bolling Lieutenant Governor, "Press release: Bolling Says No to Possible Independent Campaign for Governor," March 12, 2013
  31. The Roanoke Times, "Could Bolling run for governor as an independent?," November 28, 2102
  32. Washington Post.com, "Virginia state Sen Petersen will run for governor adviser says," April 30, 2012
  33. Blue Virginia, "Larry Sabato: Mark Warner might run for governor, could appoint his senate successor," February 8, 2012
  34. Washington Post, "Aneesh Chopra to run for Virginia lieutenant governor," July 12, 2012
  35. The Washington Post, "Snyder raises $450,000 for lieutenant governor bid," January 15, 2013
  36. Washington Post, "Scott Lingamfelter announces run for lieutenant governor," June 28, 2012
  37. Washington Post, "Virginia Sen. Stephen Martin plans to run for lt. governor," June 20, 2012
  38. Village News Online, "State Senator Martin decides to run for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia," June 27, 2012
  39. Washington Post, "Jeannemarie Devolites-David running for lieutenant governor," September 24, 2012
  40. The Roanoke Times, "Former Del. Ward Armstrong won't run statewide in 2013," December 12, 2013
  41. Washington Post, "Ex-delegate Paula Miller considering a run for lieutenant governor," May 25, 2012
  42. The Washington Post, "Sen. Mark Herring to run for attorney general in 2013," July 24, 2012
  43. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named vulnerable
  44. Washington Post, "Del. Bell to run for Virginia attorney general," December 5, 2011
  45. Code of Virginia, “Party to determine method of nominating its candidates for office; exceptions,” Accessed June 7, 2013
  46. 46.0 46.1 Sabato’s Crystal Ball, “What Just Happened in Virginia?” May 20, 2013
  47. Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Virginia GOP convention: Jackson wins LG nomination as Snyder withdraws," May 18, 2013
  48. Washington Times, "Chesapeake bishop surprises, wins Va. GOP lieutenant governor nomination," May 19, 2013