While some political commentators are already focused on 2014 and even the Presidential race in 2016, Americans will have some important elections this year. Here are five worth the watch. .
With Mayor Cory Booker deciding to seek a Senate seat in 2014 instead of challenging increasingly popular Governor Chris Christie, the real interest lies in Christie's margin of victory and how many votes he receives from his own Republican Party? Will the Governor build his margin with Democratic voters while Conservatives might even seek a third party candidate?
When Senator John Kerry takes over from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton it is most likely that Governor Deval Patrick will appoint a 'caretaker' until the special election. Former Congressman Barney Frank has loudly proclaimed he wants this interim appointment. However will his opposition to a possible appointment of former Senator Chuck Hagel to Defense hurt his cause with the Governor?
Then we move to the special election and it is clear that Congressman Ed Markey (D) will be the Democratic nominee. There appears to be no one that can offer the liberal Congressman a serious challenge. The real question is will former Republican Senator Scott Brown attempt to gain a seat back in the Senate or run for Governor. He could be a loser with any option since he lost to Elizabeth Warren by eight points!
New York City
The first election in twelve years where Bloomberg won't be on the ballot and one that will clearly determine the city's direction. If Council President Christine Quinn is elected she will be New York City's first woman and first open lesbian Mayor, The tide of history helps Quinn in this case. However expect a spirited primary from others in the city who will attempt to tie her to some of Bloomberg's unpopular policies.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliano, who quickly climbed into bed with the Tea Party the last election, has picked MTA Chair Joe Lhota as his puppet candidate in a sad attempt to regain influence in NYC.
Is the Commonwealth State just Democratic in Presidential elections or will it elect a Democrat has Governor this year? The Republican candidate for Governor will be extreme right wing, anti-LGBT Republican Attorney General Ken Cucinelli. He is about as fringe on issues as you can find in American politics. The Democrats strongest candidate at this stage is former Democratic National Chair Terry McAuliffe who lost in the primary the last time around.
Complicating the race is that Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is considering running for Governor as an Independent. While a traditional conservative he is much more moderate than Cucinelli who is a Tea Party hero.
The primary election for Mayor of Los Angeles is only three months away in March. The race is most likely a close one between Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greul. Councilwoman Jan Perry is also running. Will openly gay conservative talk show host Kevin James pull a surprise for the Republicans?