The United States of Australia Presidential election of 2007 was held on February 16, 2007. Incumbent United Party President Peter Cosgrove will faced re-election against his Labour party challenger, Congressman Kevin Rudd, a former Secretary of State. Vice President Howard remained his party's nominee, despite pressure for him to step down (he will turn 68 in 2007). Congressman Rudd's running mate was Senator Jennifer Macklin of Victoria, the first woman to be nominated for the Vice Presidency.
United Party nomination
President Cosgrove and Vice President Howard were unanimously renominated with no opposition. There had been some talk of Howard stepping down in favour of a younger Vice Presidential candidate (Senator Brendan Nelson was a frequently mentioned candidate).
Rudd defeated several candidates. The front-runner had been former Vice President, and 2003 candidate, Kim Beazley. Congresswoman Julia Gillard also launched a campaign, as did former Governor of Hunter Bob Carr and Senators Michael Cullen and Stephen Conroy. Rudd was elected at the convention, held in Hobart on November 28, on the first ballot after winning the Hunter, Victoria and New Zealand primaries on October 20, giving him enough delegates to win nomination. He chose Senator Macklin as his running mate to help balance the ticket; Macklin is socially liberal while Rudd is more moderate.
By a narrow margin, President Cosgrove and Vice President Howard were re-elected against the Labour ticket. Cosgrove defeated Rudd in the primary vote by 53% to 45%, but only won approximately 54% of the Electoral College vote. On April 1, Cosgrove and Howard were sworn in for a second term. Congressman Rudd had declined to run for re-election to the House in order to concentrate on his campaign, and on April 1 left Congress for the private sector.