2013 United States elections
2011          2012          2013          2014          2015
Off-year elections
Election dayNovember 5
Senate elections
Seats contested2 mid-term vacancies
Net seat changeDemocratic +1, Republican −1
2013 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts2013 United States Senate special election in New Jersey2013 United States senate election results.svg
About this image
Map of the 2013 Senate special elections
     Democratic gain (1)
     Democratic hold (1)
House elections
Seats contested6 mid-term vacancies
Net seat change0
US House special elections 2013.svg
Map of the 2013 House special elections
     Democratic hold (2)
     Republican hold (4)
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested2
Net seat changeDemocrats +1
2013 New Jersey gubernatorial election2013 Virginia gubernatorial election2013 United States gubernatorial elections results map.svg
About this image
Map of the 2013 Gubernatorial elections
     Democratic gain (1)
     Republican hold (1)

The 2013 United States elections were held on Tuesday, November 5, 2013. This off-year election featured several special elections to the United States Congress; two gubernatorial races; state legislative elections in a few states; and numerous citizen initiatives, mayoral races, and a variety of other local offices on the ballot.

The Democrats picked up the governorship in Virginia as Terry McAuliffe was elected to replace term-limited Republican Bob McDonnell. Meanwhile, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was re-elected to a second term.

Congressional special elections were held throughout the year. In total, two Senate seats and six House seats were contested. None of the House seats changed party hands as well as the Massachusetts senate seat. Democrats however regained the senate seat in New Jersey which was held by a Republican appointee.

Federal elections



Main article: 2013 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts

On December 21, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Massachusetts U.S. Senator John Kerry as Secretary of State. Kerry was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 29, 2013, by a vote of 94–3.[1] Following the vote, Kerry resigned his Senate seat effective at February 1, 2013, at 4 p.m.[2] Massachusetts law required a special election within 145 to 160 days after the vacancy occurred and allowed Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint an interim senator until the winner of the special election can be sworn in.[3] Patrick announced on January 30, 2013, that he would appoint his former Chief of Staff Mo Cowan to serve as the interim senator. Cowan was sworn-in by Vice President of the United States Joe Biden on February 7, 2013.[4] Cowan did not run in the special election.[5] Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin set the dates for the election with the primaries on April 30, 2013, and the general election on June 25, 2013.[6]

Democratic Congressman Ed Markey declared his candidacy on December 27, 2012,[7] and was the favorite of the Democratic establishment, receiving endorsements from Kerry, Victoria Kennedy (the widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy) and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.[8] U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch also sought the Democratic nomination.[9] Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown was considered the overwhelming Republican favorite, but announced on February 1, 2013, that he would not run in the special election.[10] Kerry was re-elected in 2008 with 66 percent of the vote.[11]

On April 30, 2013, Markey easily defeated Lynch to secure the Democratic nomination taking over 57 percent of the over 550,000 cast.[12] Gabriel Gomez, a former Navy SEAL won the Republican nomination taking 51 percent of about 190,000 votes cast; defeating former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and former Acting Director Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Michael Sullivan who had 36 percent and state Rep. Daniel Winslow, who had 13 percent.[12]

Markey easily defeated Gomez on June 25, 2013, capturing over 625,000 votes of approximately 1.2 million cast, garnering approximately 55 percent to Gomez's 45 percent and less than 1 percent for Richard Heos, nominee of the Twelve Vision's Party.[13]

New Jersey

Main article: 2013 United States Senate special election in New Jersey

89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who had already announced retirement plans[14] died on June 3, 2013.[15] On June 4, 2013, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set the dates for the special election with the primaries being held on August 13, 2013, and the general election being held on October 16, 2013.[16] On June 6, 2013, Christie announced the appointment of New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, a Republican, to serve as the interim senator until the winner of the special could be sworn in.[17] Chiesa announced he would not run in the special election and was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on June 10, 2013.[18]

Newark Mayor Cory Booker,[19] won the Democratic nomination over Congressmen Rush D. Holt, Jr.[20] and Frank Pallone,[21] and New Jersey General Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver.[22] Steve Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota backed by the Tea Party and a two-time GOP primary candidate for Governor of New Jersey,[23] won the Republican nomination over health care reform advocate Alieta Eck.[24]

The election on October 16, 2013, was won by Cory Booker with 54.6% of the vote, against 44.3% for Steve Lonegan.[25] This senate election was a technical net gain for Democrats since Booker was replacing an appointed Republican. However, the gain was not enough to hold back the Republican wave which swept control of the senate just one year later.

United States House of Representatives

Main article: 2013 United States House of Representatives elections

This off-year election featured special elections to the 113th United States Congress to fill vacancies due to resignations or deaths. Six special elections have taken place or will take place to fill seats in the United States House of Representatives. Two were due to Congressmen taking seats in the United States Senate (Tim Scott of South Carolina and Ed Markey of Massachusetts), one resigned to take jobs in the private sector (Jo Ann Emerson of Missouri), one resigned to take a job in the public sector (Jo Bonner of Alabama), and Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned due to an impending federal indictment of misuse of campaign funds.

Illinois's 2nd congressional district

Main article: 2013 Illinois's 2nd congressional district special election

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned on November 21, 2012, following a months-long battle with bipolar disorder and due to being subject to a federal investigation over the possible misuse of campaign funds.[26] Democratic nominee Robin Kelly defeated Republican nominee Paul McKinley on April 9, 2013, taking 71 percent of about 82,000 votes cast.[27]

South Carolina's 1st congressional district

Main article: 2013 South Carolina's 1st congressional district special election

Incumbent Tim Scott resigned when appointed U.S. senator.[28] The Republican candidate, former Governor Mark Sanford, who held the seat from 1995 to 2001, defeated Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert taking 54 percent.[29]

Missouri's 8th congressional district

Main article: 2013 Missouri's 8th congressional district special election

Incumbent Jo Ann Emerson resigned January 22, 2013,[30] to become the CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in March 2013.[31] Republican Missouri state Rep. Jason Smith beat Democratic state Rep. John Hodges on June 4, 2013.[32]

Massachusetts's 5th congressional district

Main article: 2013 Massachusetts's 5th congressional district special election

Incumbent Democrat Ed Markey resigned on July 15, 2013 when elected U.S. senator. Democratic state senator Katherine Clark beat Republican lawyer Frank Addivinola on December 10, 2013.[33]

Alabama's 1st congressional district

Main article: 2013 Alabama's 1st congressional district special election

On May 23, 2013, Republican Incumbent Jo Bonner resigned August 15, 2013 to become the vice chancellor of government relations and economic development with the University of Alabama System.,[34][35] Republican former state senator Bradley Byrne beat Democratic real estate agent Burton LeFlore on December 17 by a wide margin.[36]

Louisiana's 5th congressional district

Main article: 2013 Louisiana's 5th congressional district special election

On August 6, 2013, incumbent Rodney Alexander resigned September 26, 2013, citing the partisan gridlock in Congress,[37] and became the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs under Governor Bobby Jindal.

On November 16, 2013, businessman Vance McAllister defeated fellow Republican state senator Neil Riser defeated Republican Riser in the November 16 run-off with 60 percent of the vote.[38] and was sworn-in by Boehner on November 21, 2013.

State elections


Main article: 2013 United States gubernatorial elections

Two states held gubernatorial elections in 2013:

State legislatures

Legislative elections were held for the New Jersey Senate, New Jersey General Assembly, and the Virginia House of Delegates. In New Jersey, Democrats retained control of their 24–16 majority in the Senate and also retained their majority in the General Assembly though they did lose two seats to Republicans.[43]

State courts

Judicial elections were held for New York State Supreme Court in most of its 13 Judicial Districts.


Several states had referenda on propositions and/or state constitutional amendments on the ballot in November 2013, including a non-binding vote to create a new state in Northern Colorado, tax and marijuana issues in Colorado, an initiative to require labeling of genetically modified food in the state of Washington, and an amendment to raise the minimum wage in New Jersey.[44]

New Yorkers voted to amend its constitution in several minor ways, but voted against raising the retirement age for judges.

Municipal elections

Various elections were held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts and others around the country.

Mayoral elections

Some of the large cities holding mayoral elections included:[45]

Other local elections

Some of the major local elections included:

Tables of partisan control results

See also: Political party strength in U.S. states

These tables show the partisan results of the Congressional special elections and gubernatorial races in 2013. Bold indicates a change in control.

Senate seats
Seat Before 2013 elections After 2013 elections
Massachusetts Class 2 Democratic Democratic
New Jersey Class 2 Republican[a] Democratic
House Congressional seats
Seat Before 2013 elections After 2013 elections
Alabama 1st Republican Republican
Illinois 2nd Democratic Democratic
Louisiana 5th Republican Republican
Massachusetts 5th Democratic Democratic
Missouri 8th Republican Republican
South Carolina 1st Republican Republican
State Before 2013 elections After 2013 elections
New Jersey Republican Republican
Virginia Republican Democratic


  1. ^ The vacancy resulted from the death of Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg on June 3, 2013. Republican Jeffrey Chiesa was appointed on June 4 to serve as interim senator until the winner of the October 16 special election was sworn in.


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