Virginia lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2013
- 1 Race background
- 2 Results
- 3 Candidates
- 4 Nominating conventions
- 5 Polls
- 6 Campaign finance
- 7 Campaign sites & media
- 8 News
State Executive Official Elections
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Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) did not seek re-election in 2013. Nine candidates filed to fill the imminently-open executive seat, including two Democrats and seven Republicans. State Sen. Ralph Northam defeated Aneesh Chopra for the Democratic Party's nomination for lieutenant governor in the June 11 primary election. Northam's general election opponent was Republican E.W. Jackson. Jackson was nominated by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 17-18. Northam and Jackson faced off in the Nov. 5, 2013 general election, and Northam won by a margin of over 10 percentage points.
When Virginia voters elected Democrat L. Douglas Wilder, the grandson of slaves, as its 66th Governor in 1989, it was the first time an African-American was elected to the office in the nation's history. Given the state's heritage of trailblazing, it is notable that until Jackson's convention victory, Virginia Republicans had not nominated an African-American for any statewide office since backing Maurice Dawkins' a quarter of a century ago.
A minister at a non-denominational church and relatively new member of the Republican Party, Jackson edged out six primary opponents by emphasizing his commitment to hallmark conservative issues such as smaller government, gun rights and traditional family values. He appealed to the delegation with the promise, "We will not only win an election in November, we will open the hearts and minds of our people and save this commonwealth and save this country."
Regardless of his post-convention promise, Jackson was an unwelcome choice for the state's Republican establishment from the start, thanks to his refusal to divert from, or soften the rhetoric of, his "liberty agenda." The agenda contained the issues mentioned above, none of which were earth-shattering stances for a conservative; Jackson was anti-Obamacare, pro-Second Amendment and anti-federal overreach. His approach to delivering these messages, however, rose more concerns - as well as eyebrows - from the party than was originally anticipated. In August, Jackson referred to the Democratic Party as the "anti-God party" because of its supportive position on same-sex marriage and abortion, cementing his reputation for being impermeable to warnings about how his often inflammatory rhetoric might alienate swing voters or more moderate Republican voters heading into the general election. Then on Sept. 4, The Washington Post reported that his independent streak also extended to his behind the scenes campaign style. After securing the nomination in May, Jackson had not taken advantage of the Virginia Republican Party's massive pool of campaign resources. He declined offers to utilize the party's voter databases and related logistical tools in addition to field office venues across the state- a "virtually unheard-of forfeiture of resources for a statewide candidate."
On the Democratic end, Northam, a pediatric neurologist who was first elected to the state legislature's upper chamber in 2008, wanted to win the lt. governor's office in order to restore Democratic control over the state senate. His campaign focused on improving education and creating jobs in energy efficiency, in addition to reversing the direction the Republican leadership had taken the state on women's health issues. "Their crusades to shut down reproductive health centers and to mandate costly and invasive medical procedures for women seeking abortions have embarrassed the Commonwealth, and have inserted government between doctors and their patients."
The final campaign finance reporting cycle prior to the general election showed Northam maintaining an ample fundraising lead over Jackson, adding to the consistent edge he had shown in the polls. Jackson's remarkable refusal to accept assistance from the Republican Party had no doubt hindered him from overtaking Northam in money and/or voter support. His proven difficulties adhering to the state board of elections' filing protocols, having twice needed to amend his documentation of loans or donations, likewise boded unfavorably for the GOP nominee heading into the home stretch of what was an ultimately unsuccessful campaign.
|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|
Democratic primary election
|Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Democratic Primary Election, 2013|
|Election Results via Virginia State Board of Elections.|
Coming November 5, 2013
|Primary election candidates - Click "show"|
Nominating Conventions in Virginia
The candidate selection process in Virginia differs between the political parties. According to the Code of Virginia:
“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.”
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.
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. 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.
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.
|Lieutenant Governor of Virginia - 2013 Democratic Primary Race|
|Poll||Aneesh Chopra||Ralph Northam||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Public Policy Polling|
(May 24-26, 2013)
|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|
Hypothetical general election match-ups
The Virginia State Board of Elections administers campaign finance law and maintains all records online.
For the primary election:
For the general election:
Snyder - Campaign website
Snyder - Campaign website
- Blue Virginia, "Virginia Primary Election Results Live Blog," June 11, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Va. GOP settles on Cuccinelli, Obenshain and Jackson for November ballot," May 19, 2013
- Virginia State Board of Elections, "2013 Statewide Unofficial Results," accessed November 6, 2013
- Encyclopedia Virginia, “L. Douglas Wilder (1931- ), accessed August 7, 2013
- Afro.com, "Virginia GOP Nominates Conservative Black Minister for Lt. Gov.," May 19, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Virginia GOP picks staunch conservatives as statewide candidates," May 18, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Jackson keeps GOP establishment at arm's length in Va. lieutenant governor campaign," September 4, 2013
- Official Campaign Website, "Issues," accessed March 20, 2013
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- The Washington Post, "McAuliffe tops Cuccinelli in fundraising race for Virginia governor," September 17, 2013
- The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "McAuliffe maintains cash edge over Cuccineli," September 17, 2013
- Washington Post, "Aneesh Chopra to run for Virginia lieutenant governor," July 12, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Snyder raises $450,000 for lieutenant governor bid," January 15, 2013
- Washington Post, "Scott Lingamfelter announces run for lieutenant governor," June 28, 2012
- Washington Post, "Virginia Sen. Stephen Martin plans to run for lt. governor," June 20, 2012
- Village News Online, "State Senator Martin decides to run for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia," June 27, 2012
- Washington Post, "Jeannemarie Devolites-David running for lieutenant governor," September 24, 2012
- The Roanoke Times, "Former Del. Ward Armstrong won't run statewide in 2013," December 12, 2013
- Washington Post, "Ex-delegate Paula Miller considering a run for lieutenant governor," May 25, 2012
- Code of Virginia, “Party to determine method of nominating its candidates for office; exceptions,” Accessed June 7, 2013
- Sabato’s Crystal Ball, “What Just Happened in Virginia?” May 20, 2013
- Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Virginia GOP convention: Jackson wins LG nomination as Snyder withdraws," May 18, 2013
- Washington Times, "Chesapeake bishop surprises, wins Va. GOP lieutenant governor nomination," May 19, 2013
State of Virginia
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