2003 United States elections
2001          2002          2003          2004          2005
Off-year elections
Election dayNovember 4
Congressional special elections
Seats contested2
Net seat change0
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested4
Net seat changeRepublican +2
2003 California gubernatorial election2003 Kentucky gubernatorial election2003 Louisiana gubernatorial election2003 Mississippi gubernatorial election
2003 Gubernatorial election results map
  Republican Gain
  Democratic Gain

The 2003 United States elections, most of which were held on Tuesday, November 4, were off-year elections in which no members of the Congress were standing for election. However, there were three gubernatorial races, state legislative elections in four states, numerous citizen initiatives, mayoral races in several major cities, and a variety of local offices on the ballot.

The most high-profile race during this year was the California gubernatorial recall election: California voters replaced incumbent Governor Gray Davis with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Federal elections

U.S. House of Representatives special elections

In 2003, two special elections to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives were held. They were for Hawaii's 2nd congressional district (on January 4) and Texas's 19th congressional district (June 3). None of these congressional seats changed party hands.

State elections

Gubernatorial elections

Main article: 2003 United States gubernatorial elections

Three states held elections for Governor in 2003. In addition to these regularly scheduled elections, California held a recall election. California held a recall election on October 7. Kentucky and Mississippi voted on November 4. Louisiana's election dates do not coincide with that of most states: Louisiana held its open primary on October 4, with a runoff on November 15.

Going into the elections, Republicans held the governorships of twenty-six states and Democrats held twenty-four. Republicans achieved a net gain of two with victories in Kentucky and Mississippi as well as the successful recall and replacement of Californian Governor Gray Davis with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Democrats succeeded capturing Louisiana's Governorship. Thus, Republicans succeeded in reversing a trend in which Republicans had been losing gubernatorial seats to the Democrats since 1998.

Other statewide elections

In the three states which held regularly scheduled state general elections, elections for state executive branch offices of Lieutenant Governor (in a separate election in Louisiana and Mississippi and on the same ticket as the gubernatorial nominee in Kentucky), Secretary of state, state Treasurer, state Auditor, state Attorney General, and Commissioners of Insurance and Agriculture will be held. In addition, there will also be elections for each states' respective state Supreme Courts and state appellate courts.

State legislative elections

Main article: 2003 United States state legislative elections

Four states and one territory held elections for their state legislatures. Partisan change only occurred in one chamber, as Democrats won control of the New Jersey Senate, which was previously tied.[1] However, Democrats did maintain control of the Mississippi Legislature, the Louisiana Legislature, and the New Jersey General Assembly. Republicans maintained control of the Virginia legislature, bringing a post-Civil War low for the Democratic Party.[2] The Covenant Party led by Benigno Fitial won control of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives, but the Northern Mariana Islands Senate would remain in Republican control.

Local elections

Mayoral elections

Some of the many major American cities that held their mayoral elections in 2003 included:


  1. ^ "Official List, Candidate Returns for State Senate for November 2003 General Election" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  2. ^ University of Virginia, Center for Politics. Virginia Votes 2003: Not much to remember, not much to forget. [1] Archived 2015-07-20 at the Wayback Machine