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Republicans pick up one House seat in Virginia Congressional races

Jen Kiggans Election Night
John C. Clark
/
AP
Jen Kiggans, Republican candidate for Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, speaks at an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Virginia Beach, Va. Kiggans, a state senator, defeated Democratic incumbent Elaine Luria.

There were two races that had drawn a lot of attention — both at the state and national level — leading up to Election Day; the 2nd and 7th Districts.

Incumbent Democrat Elaine Luria — who currently serves on the House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection — lost to Republican challenger Jen Kiggans in the 2nd District. That eastern Virginia district includes the state's largest city, Virginia Beach.

In the newly-redrawn 7th District, Democrat Abigail Spanberger held off Republican Yesli Vega in a very close matchup. Speaking to her supporters, the incumbent Democrat talked about her love for this country.

“And the only politics I am willing to devote myself to is simply a matter of serving those around us, serving the community and serving those who come after us," she said. "So, I stand before you this evening with a deep and abiding love for our country and profound sense of responsibility.”

Spanberger won despite redistricting moving the 7th away from the Richmond suburbs that helped her win election in 2018. It currently includes the Fredericksburg and Culpeper areas.

Elsewhere in Virginia, incumbents held on to their seats.

Republican Ben Cline warded off a challenge from Democrat Jennifer Lewis in the 6th District. He held his victory speech in Frederick County in northern Virginia.

“My whole effort has been to make sure that ultimately at the end of the day, the views of the people of the 6th District are carried to Washington," said Cline.

Fellow Republicans Bob Good, Morgan Griffith and Rob Wittman all easily won reelection as well.

The 10th District race between Democrat Jennifer Wexton and Republican Hung Cao was closer than anticipated, but Wexton — the incumbent — pulled away.

The other Democrats in Virginia's Congressional delegation — Bobby Scott, Don Beyer, Donald McEachin and Gerry Connolly — also won reelection.

Beyer said the first two years of the Biden administration accomplished a number of historic achievements.

"I am very proud of all the legislation and the structural achievements we accomplished in the last two years," he explained. "Most of it will resonate for decades to come. But it doesn't necessarily resonate in this election, and we do know what's moved an awful lot of people in this election is the inflation that's afflicting the entire world."

That inflation may end up being a weight that pulls the Democrats down and out of power in the House this year.

According to state officials there were no serious reports of issues at the polls, or of voter harassment or intimidation.

Elections Commissioner Susan Beals said all in all, it was a very smooth Election Day in the Commonwealth.

“I’d like to thank the thousands of volunteers across the Commonwealth who worked to make sure we had a successful election," she said. "And our law enforcement and our emergency management partners who always work hard to keep us safe.” 

Election results are still unofficial. Results will be certified early in December.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is Radio IQ's Richmond reporter and bureau chief.
Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
Nick Gilmore is a meteorologist, news producer and reporter/anchor for RADIO IQ.