Virginia’s 2nd District covers a large portion of Hampton Roads, including the entirety of the cities of Virginia Beach, Suffolk, and Franklin, as well as Isle of Wight County, Accomack County, Northampton County, and parts of Chesapeake and Southampton County. The district has changed hands several times since 2008 at all levels and is considered one of Virginia’s most competitive congressional districts. Luria won the seat with 51.55% of the vote in 2020.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D), a US Navy veteran who was first elected in 2018, faces State Senator Jen Kiggans (R), a former geriatric nurse practitioner and retired US Navy veteran. Kiggans has served in the Virginia State Senate since 2020.
Democratic incumbent Representative Elaine Luria has served Virginia’s Second District since 2019. She is a 20-year Navy veteran who served as a Surface Warfare Officer and nuclear engineer. She was one of the first women to attend the Naval Nuclear Power School. In 2013, she started a family business, Mermaid Factory, which created jobs and added over $250,000 to Hampton Roads’ economy. She currently serves on the House Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Luria is a staunch advocate for clean air and water, as well as access to natural environments. She introduced the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act, bipartisan legislation for $85 million to fund clean up of the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, she spoke out against offshore drilling, and in 2020, cosponsored the Great American Outdoors Act. Earlier this year, she introduced legislation that would authorize a study to designate Coastal Virginia as a National Heritage Area.
Access to quality and affordable healthcare is a top priority for Luria. She supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act and works to lower prescription drug prices. In early 2022, Luria advanced legislation supporting health care access to veterans with certain illnesses as a result of burn pits. She also pushed TRICARE to increase access to free COVID tests to service members and military families. Luria criticized the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, as well as Governor Youngkin’s plan to change abortion laws in Virginia.
Luria is a gun safety advocate who believes in commonsense measures to keep people safe from gun violence. She supports universal background checks for gun purchases and transfers, with certain exceptions. She cosponsored the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would prohibit the possession or transfer of large-capacity ammunition magazines, a common weapon used in mass shootings. Similarly, Luria cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, which prohibited the importation, sale, or transfer of semiautomatic weapons.
Racial equity is important to Luria, and she believes that systemic racism must be holistically addressed. She voted in favor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which dealt with law enforcement accountability for misconduct and would restrict certain practices. She also supported the No Funding for Confederate Symbols Act. With the hope of fixing the Black maternal mortality crisis, Luria supported the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. To address racial equity in education, she secured $10 million for Historic Preservation Grants for HBCUs.
Luria is running against nurse practitioner, Navy veteran, and Virginia State Senator Jen Kiggans (R). This past session, Kiggans introduced legislation attempting to bar trans girls from playing school sports. She also patroned legislation aiming to ban the teaching of accurate history in public schools. She applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, calling the moment a chance to “stand against the extremist Democrat policies…”
Due to Kiggans’ extreme views on abortion access and trans rights and her lack of support for public education, Congresswoman Luria is the most progressive candidate in this race.