Milly Silva

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Milly Silva
Milly Silva.jpg
Lieutenant Governor
Former Candidate
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
Term limitsN/A
High schoolSpence School
Bachelor'sColumbia University (1996)
ProfessionExecutive Vice President for 1199 SEIU
Campaign website
Milly Silva campaign logo
Milly Silva was a Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor in the 2013 elections.[1] She currently holds the position of executive vice president for 1199 SEIU, a local health care workers union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union.[2]

State Sen. Barbara Buono, the 2013 Democratic nominee for New Jersey Governor, formally announced her choice of Silva as her lieutenant gubernatorial running mate on July 29, 2013.[3] The two-woman ticket lost to incumbent Republican governor/lt. governor pair Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno in the general election contest which took place November 5, 2013.[4]


Silva grew up in the Bronx in a public-housing project. Her parents were born in Puerto Rico and her mother, Andrea Rodriguez, worked in a health care agency where she made $5.35/hour and received no health care. These areas of her past have motivated her in her work with SEIU.[5]

Silva graduated from Spence School and holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia University.


  • Spence School
  • Bachelor's degree - Columbia University (1996)



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

Silva was up for election to the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2013.[6] Democratic nominee for Governor of New Jersey Barbara Buono confirmed Silva as her pick for running mate July 25, 2013. The duo lost to incumbents Chris Christie and Barbara Buono in the general election which took place November 5, 2013.

  • General Election

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


September 26-October 28

New Jersey Governor's Race 2013
Poll Barbara Buono (D) Chris Christie* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Monmouth University Poll
(September 26-29, 2013)
Fairleigh Dickenson Poll
(September 30, 2013-October 5, 2013)
Rasmussen Reports
(October 7, 2013)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(October 5-7, 2013)
Stockton Institute Poll
(October 3-8, 2013)
Monmouth University Poll
(October 10-12, 2013)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(October 10-14, 2013)
Rutgers Eagleton Poll (Likely Voters)
(October 7-13, 2013)
Quinnipiac University Poll
(October 21-27, 2013)
Stockton College Poll
(October 23-28, 2013)
AVERAGES 32.4% 59.2% 6.8% +/-3.22 1,037.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

April 19-September 22

New Jersey Governor's Race 2013
Poll Barbara Buono (D) Chris Christie* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
April 19-22, 2013
NBC News/Marist Poll
April 28-May 2, 2013
Quinnipiac University Poll
July 2-7, 2013
Quinnipiac University Poll
August 1-5, 2013
Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll
August 15-18, 2013
Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll
August 21-27, 2013
Rasmussen Reports Poll
September 10-11, 2013
Rutgers-Eagleton Poll
September 3-9, 2013
Stockton Poll
September 15-21, 2013
Quinnipiac University Poll
September 19-22, 2013
AVERAGES 30.2% 57.8% 9.9% +/-3.16 1,040.7
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Race background

Election rating

In November 2012, the New Jersey gubernatorial election was rated by the Washington Post as one of the top five races to watch in 2013.[7] Christie's high-wattage presence notwithstanding, the contest never rose to the level of excitement originally anticipated. This was due in part to the decision of former Newark Mayor Cory Booker to run for U.S. Senate rather than attempt to oust Christie in 2013. Booker had long been considered the Democratic front-runner and best hope to take on the juggernaut incumbent, until announcing his — ultimately successful — Senate bid, and leaving comparatively unknown Democrats on their own to face Christie, whose upward career trajectory and bipartisan appeal made him a formidable opponent in the election.[8]


Incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono each faced a single challenger in the primary election on June 4, although neither presented a substantial challenge at the polls; Christie and Buono won their respective party nominations with roughly 90 percent of the vote.[9][10]

Former Atlantic City Councilman Seth Grossman was the sole Republican to brave a run against the popular first-term governor, whose profile rose following the response to Hurricane Sandy. Grossman's campaign criticized Christie for being overly moderate, while Buono's opponent Troy Webster, advisor to the mayor of East Orange, believed he was uniquely suited to making New Jersey friendlier to "the working poor and middle class families who have been literally 'thrown under the bus.'" Grossman and Webster were endorsed by the weekly publication NJ Today.[11]

Selection of running mates

In New Jersey, gubernatorial candidates have 30 days to select a lieutenant gubernatorial running mate with whom to share their ticket in the general election. Immediately after launching his re-election campaign, Christie secured his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Buono, meanwhile, waited until July 29 to formally announce her choice of union leader Milly Silva, the executive vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, as her running mate.[12][13] The two-woman ticket went up against incumbent pairing Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno in addition to a number of third-party opponents in the general election contest that took place on November 5, 2013.


Christie was heavily favored to win re-election, with his campaign raising nearly double that of Buono's in the primary and maintaining a decisive double-digit advantage in the polls throughout the election season.[14][15] In the final week before the general election, Christie boasted a staggering 24.3-point average polling lead.[16] He also had bipartisan support, which was crucial in a state where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by over 700,000, according to party registration statistics provided by the New Jersey Department of State.[17]

Public financing

Since 1977, New Jersey gubernatorial primary and general election candidates can qualify for a public funding program whereby candidates who raise a minimum amount of money are dispensed tax-generated funds, controlled by the state election law enforcement commission, in direct proportion to campaign donations given from the public. In 2013, the qualifying sum for primary gubernatorial candidates was $380,000.[18] The purpose of the program is to lessen the influence of corporate contributions in elections. On February 2, 2013, then-presumptive Democratic nominee Barbara Buono's campaign reported that it had surpassed the $380,000 mark.[19] By that time, Christie's campaign had already raised $2 million. Unlike in 2009, Christie declined to use matching funds in the 2013 primary, but he decided in August to opt in to the program for the general election phase. Under the program, Christie became eligible for an additional $8 million, approximately. The terms also required him to participate in two debates with Buono before the general election.[19][20]


Silva, 43, of Montclair, has a husband and young children.[21]

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  1. North Jersey, Barbara Buono picks union leader Milly Silva as running mate, July 25, 2013
  2. Huffington Post, Barbara Buono Picks Milly Silva As Running Mate In New Jersey Race, July 25,2013
  3. Barbara Buono and Milly Silva 2013 Official Campaign website, "Press Releases: Buono Names Milly Silva Candidate for Lieutenant Governor," July 29, 2013
  4. New York Times, Chris Christie Re-elected Governor of New Jersey, November 5, 2013
  5. New, Buono picks running mate in battle against Christie, sources say, July 25, 2013
  6., "Barbara Buono picks union leader Milly Silva as running mate," July 25, 2013
  7. Washington Post, "The 5 best races of 2013," November 30, 2012
  8. Public Policy Polling, "Christie in trouble for re-election," July 20, 2011
  9. NJToday, "Primary election results," accessed June 5, 2013
  10., "Christie and Buono wrap yawner primary season," June 4, 2013
  11. NJ Today, "EDITORIAL: Troy Webster For Governor," April 14, 2013
  12., "Barbara Buono picks union leader Milly Silva as running mate," July 25, 2013
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named
  14. PolitickerNJ, "Christie and Buono wrap yawner primary season," June 4, 2013
  15. NJ News 12, "Poll: Christie remains popular in NJ," accessed April 15, 2013
  16. RealClearPolitics, "New Jersey Governor - Christie vs. Buono," accessed November 3, 2013
  17. New Jersey Department of State Elections Division, "Statewide Voter Registration Summary," May 7, 2013
  18., "Sen. Buono raises almost $250K in first month of campaigning," January 2, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 The Star-Ledger, "Buono qualifies for public matching funds in N.J. governor's race," February 4, 2013
  20., "Christie campaign participating in public financing program," August 20, 2013
  21. Buono for Governor 2013 Official Campaign Website, "About Milly," accessed August 19, 2013