Name: Jen Kiggans
Race: Senate, 7th District
Biography: Jen Kiggans is running for Virginia’s 7th Senate District to fight for a smaller and more efficient government, affordable healthcare for all Virginians, revitalization of the job market, and respect for the sanctity of human life. In short, Jen is a mom with a cause who believes Virginians deserve better than what they have been getting from their elected officials.
As a veteran, a healthcare provider, a mother and a wife, Jen understands the value of service. This commitment to service above oneself is what motivated her to run for office and make a profound difference in her community.
Jen began her journey of service after she earned her degree in International Relations from Boston University and answered the call to serve her country in the U.S. Navy. As a young Navy pilot, Jen flew H-46 and H-3 helicopters, completing two deployments to the Persian Gulf. After her service in the military, Jen graduated from Old Dominion University’s Nursing School and Vanderbilt University’s nurse practitioner program. Today, she is a board-certified adult-geriatric primary care nurse practitioner.
Jen currently practices at Eastern Virginia Medical School and is also a primary care provider for a small private practice. As a healthcare provider, Jen is committed to keeping healthcare costs down and increasing public access to mental health resources.
Jen believes that public servants should serve the public, not themselves. She believes in the free market, and freedom from government overreach. She believes in the potential of every person to live, to grow, and to succeed. Above all, Jen believes in Virginia. She will represent the 7th District with strong leadership and uncompromising loyalty to her constituents as she works for them in Richmond. Jen is eager to serve her community as its Senator and would be honored to have your support this Nov. 5.
Why should residents elect you to the Virginia Senate?
The residents of the 7th District State Senate should elect me to serve as their next state senator because I am the “return to normalcy” candidate. I drive a carpool, bake cookies with my kids, and coach the track team.
Besides being an everyday citizen who understands the concerns of everyday voters, I also happen to bring life experiences to the table that are unparalleled. I served my country as a Naval Aviator flying helicopters for ten years, have served as a Navy spouse, as a mom, and now as an adult-geriatric nurse practitioner.
I am in this race because I am frustrated with the status quo and how we have been doing politics in Richmond. I am tired of watching non-healthcare people try to fix our broken healthcare system and know that we need providers who understand patient populations and their challenges to improve healthcare for all Virginians.
I also represent an underrepresented niche in the General Assembly. There are currently no women veterans who serve in Richmond (not Democrats nor Republicans) and that needs to change. As a veteran, a mother, and a healthcare provider I understand what matters most to the constituents of the 7th district.
What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?
The biggest issue facing my district is a broken healthcare system. People are paying too much for monthly insurance bills, too much for prescription medications, and face healthcare costs that are astronomical. There is much room for improvement from cost transparency, better access to telehealth, and maximum utilization of non-physician providers for primary care.
We must ensure people with pre-existing conditions are protected with quality healthcare coverage. We talk about better accessibility of mental health services but there needs to be better advocacy for those providing the behavioral healthcare.
I would also like to see better insurance coverage for alternative pain treatments such as chiropractors, physical therapies, and homeopathic treatments. People have better mental health outcomes when we can treat their physical pain. They are also less likely to resort to self-medicating when care providers are able to offer affordable pain modalities to improve their quality of life. We need to make it easier for healthcare professionals to offer alternatives to pain management other than simply writing a prescription for narcotics.
What was the most important vote taken in the Virginia General Assembly in 2019, and why?
The most important vote taken in the Virginia General Assembly in 2019 in my opinion was tax reform. I think we can all agree we pay too much in income taxes here in Virginia. The Republican party pushed hard for changes in Virginia’s tax code resulting in over $1 billion coming to our state, the second largest tax cut in Virginia history!
Despite Democrats supporting the governor’s proposal to increase the size of state government and spend more on government programs, the Republican majority was able to provide a tax relief plan that would reduce taxes paid next year while giving every Virginian who pays income taxes a rebate check this year ($110 for single filers, $220 for joint filers). Additionally, when we file taxes next year, the amount of earnings that will be tax free should be 50% higher. That should make all taxpayers, both Democrats and Republicans, extremely happy and thankful.