VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) – Republican Jen Kiggans has defeated Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria to represent coastal Virginia’s highly competitive and newly drawn 2nd District.
Kiggans is a state senator, nurse practitioner and former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot. She defeated Luria, a fellow vet who served as a Navy commander, in one of the nation’s most veteran-heavy districts.
The seat covers much of Virginia’s coast, including the Eastern Shore and the state’s most populous city, Virginia Beach. However, it no longer includes the world’s largest naval base in the neighboring city of Norfolk because of redistricting.
Political observers had labeled the closely watched race a toss-up. Luria had flipped the district blue under its previous lines in 2018. But under its new boundaries, Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin would have won it by more than 11 points last year, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.
Luria had cultivated a congressional identity as a centrist. But Kiggans cast Luria as unwilling to buck President Joe Biden and what she described as the Democratic leader’s “failed economic policies.”
Watch Kiggans’ acceptance speech and Luria’s concession speech above.