VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP/WAVY) — The hard-fought battle between Democrat Elaine Luria and Republican incumbent Scott Taylor ended in a nail-biter on Election Night, with the former Navy commander unseating the embattled former Navy SEAL from his 2nd Congressional District post.
Luria’s win on Tuesday marked a swift change of heart in this traditionally Republican district on Virginia’s coast. The freshman congressman had won by nearly 23 percentage points in 2016.
“I knew it was going to be a close race. This district typically leans republican,” said Luria. “A lot of people came out to vote today. I always knew it was going to be close that’s why we got our volunteers engaged. Every single vote counts.”
While I will always look for common ground, while I will always be willing to listen, I will never compromise when it comes the Coastal Virginia values of decency, community, and service to country that we all hold dear.— Elaine Luria (@ElaineLuriaVA) November 7, 2018
Luria’s victory was likely boosted by antipathy toward President Donald Trump and a ballot-fraud scandal that tainted Taylor’s campaign. Some of Taylor’s staff members were accused of forging voters’ signatures to help place a third-party “spoiler candidate” on the ballot.
National Democrats backed Luria. And she had a military background vital for running in a district that’s home to the world’s largest Navy base and many veterans.Luira said she plans to keep the same leadership motto she had for 20 years as an officer in the Navy. That motto is “Be good and do good work.”
During Luria’s acceptance speech she promised to lead in a bipartisan way on issues like sea level rise, infrastructure, military readiness, affordable healthcare and protect social security.
She said she talked with people while campaigning for the last 10 months that’s why voters showed up for her.
“I listened more than I talked,” explained Luria. “What really touched them was the willingness to listen and have a conversation and meet them where. They are in their schools, churches and communities. I really think they want to have someone who will listen. Then take that information and build on it for things that will help our district.”
Luria thanks Congressman Scott Taylor for his service to our country and the district.
“What I’d say to the folks who voted for and supported Congressman Scott Taylor is that I want to listen to them and work for them as much as the people who voted for me. The doors are open the phones are on we’re ready to get to work and to work on these complex issues for our district.”
Luria said she looks forward to working with Taylor during the transition.
Scott Taylor’s campaign released this statement.
“I’m very proud of all the work my team has accomplished over the past two years for working people, veterans, and the military.
Congrats to Elaine Luria, her family, and her supporters.
We wish her all the best, as her success is our success.”