United States elections, 2003
|Election day||November 4|
|Congressional special elections|
|Net change||Republican +2|
|2003 Gubernatorial election results map|
The 2003 United States general elections, 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 Democratic Governor Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- 1 Federal elections
- 2 State electioins
- 3 Local elections
United States Congressional elections
United States 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
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 state-wide Officer 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
Four states and one territory held elections for their state legislatures.
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. Change in Control of any other state legislature did not occur in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, or Virginia.
Initiatives and Referenda
Many major American cities held their mayoral elections in 2003.
- Akron, Ohio- Incumbent Mayor Don Plusquellic (D) was re-elected.
- Alexandria, Virginia- Councilman William D. Euille was elected as Alexandria's first Black Mayor in 2003.
- Anchorage- Incumbent Mayor and future US Senator Mark Begich (D) was re-elected.
- Arlington, Texas- Obstetrician-Gynecologist Robert Cluck was elected Mayor of Arlington in 2003.
- Augusta, Maine- Incumbent Mayor William E. Dowling was re-elected
- Aurora, Colorado- Councilman Ed Tauer (R) was elected Mayor of Aurora in 2003.
- Austin- Councilman Will Wynn (D) was elected Mayor of Austin in 2003.
- Baltimore- Incumbent Mayor and future Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley (D) was re-elected.
- Birmingham- Incumbent Mayor Bernard Kincaid (D) was re-elected.
- Boise- State Representative David H. Bieter (D) defeated Republican operative Chuck Winder and Ada County Sheriff Vaughn Killeen to win election as Mayor of Boise
- Burlington, Vermont- Incumbent Mayor Peter Clavelle (P) was re-elected.
- Charleston, South Carolina- Incumbent Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. was re-elected.
- Charleston, West Virginia- Danny Jones (R) was elected Mayor of Charleston, West Virginia in 2003.
- Charlotte- Incumbent Mayor Pat McCrory (R) was re-elected.
- Chicago- Incumbent Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) was re-elected. Chicago was the most populous city to hold a mayoral election in 2003.
- Colorado Springs- Vice Mayor Lionel Rivera (R) was elected Mayor of Colorado Springs in 2003. Rivera became Colorado Spring's first Hispanic Mayor.
- Columbus, Ohio- Incumbent Mayor Michael B. Coleman (D) was re-elected.
- Dallas- Incumbent Mayor Laura Miller (D) was re-elected.
- Denver- Entrepreneur John Hickenlooper (D) was elected Mayor of Denver in 2003.
- Des Moines- Councilman Frank Cownie (D) defeated Councilwoman Christine Hensley to win election as Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa
- Durham, North Carolina- Incumbent Mayor Bill Bell (D) was re-elected.
- El Paso, Texas- Businessman Joe Wardy defeated Incumbent Mayor Raymond Caballero.
- Flint, Michigan- Don Williamson (D) won an open seat race to succeed outgoing Mayor James W. Rutherford
- Fort Lauderdale- Incumbent Mayor Jim Naugle (D) was re-elected.
- Fort Worth- State Senator Mike Moncrief (D) won an open seat election to succeed outgoing Mayor Kenneth Barr.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan- Former City Commissioner George Heartwell won an open seat election to succeed outgoing Mayor John H. Logie.
- Green Bay, Wisconsin- Jim Schmitt (R) was elected Mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin in 2003.
- Greensboro, North Carolina- Incumbent Mayor Keith Holliday was re-elected.
- Hartford- Incumbent Mayor Eddie Perez (D) was re-elected.
- Houston- Former United States Deputy Secretary of Energy Bill White (D) defeated Former Councilman Orlando Sanchez in an open seat election to succeed term-limited Mayor Lee P. Brown.
- Indianapolis- Incumbent Mayor Bart Peterson (D) was re-elected.
- Jacksonville- Former Chairman of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority John Peyton (R) was elected Mayor of Jacksonville in 2003.
- Juneau- Former acting state Attorney General of Alaska Bruce Botelho (D) was elected Mayor of Juneau in 2003.
- Kansas City, Missouri- Incumbent Mayor Kay Barnes (D) was re-elected.
- Knoxville- Former Vice-President of Pilot Corp. Bill Haslam (R) defeated Madeline Rogero in open seat race to succeed outgoing Mayor Victor Ashe (R).
- Las Vegas- Incumbent Mayor Oscar Goodman was re-elected.
- Lincoln, Nebraska- Coleen Seng (D) defeated Councilman Glenn Friendt (R) in an open seat race to succeed outgoing Mayor Don Wesely
- Manchester, New Hampshire- Incumbent Mayor Robert A. Baines (D) was re-elected.
- Macon- Incumbent Mayor C. Jack Ellis (D) was re-elected.
- Madison, Wisconsin- Former Dane County Board of Supervisors member Dave Cieslewicz (D) was elected Mayor of Madison in 2003.
- Memphis- Incumbent Mayor Willie Herenton (D) was re-elected.
- Montgomery- Incumbent Mayor and future US Representative Bobby Bright (D) was re-elected.
- Nashville- Incumbent Mayor Bill Purcell (D) was re-elected.
- New Haven- Incumbent Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. (D) was re-elected.
- Orlando- State Senator Buddy Dyer (D) won a special election so succeed Glenda Hood (R) who had been appointed by then-Governor Jeb Bush to serve as Secretary of State of Florida.
- Phoenix- Former Councilman Phil Gordon (D) won an open seat race to succeed term-limited Mayor Skip Rimsza.
- Philadelphia- Incumbent Mayor John F. Street (D) defeated CEO of Greater Philadelphia First Sam Katz (R) to win re-election.
- Raleigh- Incumbent Mayor Charles Meeker (D) was re-elected.
- Salt Lake City- Incumbent Mayor Rocky Anderson (D) was re-elected.
- San Antonio- Incumbent Mayor Edward D. Garza (D) was re-elected.
- San Francisco- San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Gavin Newsom (D) won an open seat election to succeed term-limited Mayor Willie Brown (D).
- Savannah- Chatham County Board of Education member Otis Johnson (D) defeated Alderman Pete Liakakis (D) to win election as Mayor of Savannah in an open seat race to succeed outgoing Mayor Floyd Adams, Jr. (D).
- Springfield, Illinois- Timothy Davlin (D) was elected Mayor of Springfield in 2003.
- Springfield, Massachusetts- Charles Ryan defeated State Senator Linda Melconian to win an open seat race to succeed outgoing Mayor Michael Albano
- Stamford, Connecticut- Incumbent Mayor Dan Malloy (D) was re-elected.
- Tallahassee- Former Chairman of the Florida Public Service Commission John Marks (D) was elected Mayor of Tallahassee in 2003.
- Tampa- President of the State Association of County Elections Supervisors Pam Iorio (D) was elected Mayor of Tampa in 2003
- Topeka- In special election held following Butch Felker's resignation, attorney James McClinton defeated state Senator Bill Bunten (R) to win election as Mayor of Topeka, Kansas.
- Tucson- Incumbent Mayor Bob Walkup (R) was re-elected.
- Vancouver- Incumbent Mayor Royce Pollard (D) was re-elected.
- Witchita- Former state Representative Carlos Mayans (R) was elected Mayor of Witchita in 2003.