SMITHFIELD, Va. (WAVY) — The race for Virginia’s Congressional 2nd District has been called one of the most closely watched in the country. For the second time in a week, incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria and State Sen. Jen Kiggans faced off — this time at Smithfield Center in Isle of Wight County. Their first debate was at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront on Oct. 12.

Monday night’s debate quickly became heated with Luria and Kiggans often making digs at one another.

Luria called Kiggans “spineless” and “unfit for federal office.” Kiggans told Luria that President Joe Biden is destroying the country.

Two candidates, both Navy veterans, with very different viewpoints.

Luria and Kiggans touched on a number of topics Monday, including abortion, energy, foreign relations, rural broadband, public safety, climate change and the economy.

Kiggans emphasized many times throughout the evening that her campaign is centered around restoring American strength, supporting those on fixed incomes and those struggling with inflation.

“I run to restore strength because our country is in a place of weakness. When I talk about restoring American strength, you’ll hear be referring to it over and over. Strength in our economy, strength in our border, strength in our communities through community safety and reducing crime and letting parents have a say in their kids’ education,” Kiggans said.

Luria vowed to continue to protect democracy, support the military and stressed the importance of comprehensive immigration reform.

“If you ask me the two things that keep me up at night, it’s China and it’s protecting our democracy. Those are the things that I’ve been fighting for the whole time I’ve been in Congress and I will continue to do that as your representative here in the second district,” stated Luria.

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