By Carol Vaughn — Jen Kiggans, a former Navy helicopter pilot and a geriatric nurse practitioner who represents Virginia Beach in the Virginia Senate, will be the Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District in the November election.
Kiggans defeated three opponents in the June 21 primary to become the Republican nominee.
Kiggans will face incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria, who has held the seat for four years.
Turnout was 7.33% of registered voters throughout the district, and 8% in Accomack County, according to Sam Sellard, Accomack County Republican Party Chairman.
“As Chairman of the Accomack Republican Party, I am disappointed with the low voter turnout for this primary election, but happy with the results,” Sellard said Wednesday, adding, “The party will be working hard over the coming months to increase turnout for the November elections.”
“We fully expect to unseat Elaine Luria. We feel that with the redistricting that took place, it makes the 2nd Congressional District even stronger for the Republicans, which we think will give us a better chance to unseat Elaine Luria,” Sellard said.
“Of course, that seat has national attention paid to it because it’s one seat that Republicans, not only on a local level like us, but on a state level and national level, think we can overturn based upon the redistricting. But of course, it’s really going to come down to, as it did in the Youngkin campaign, turnout,” Sellard said, adding, “If we can turn out the Republican base, we really feel like we have an opportunity to take that seat.”
Kiggans won the primary with 55.64% of the vote districtwide, according to unofficial results. Jarome Bell received 27.12%, Tommy Altman received 14.29%, and Andy Baan received 2.95%.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, 5,606 early votes were reported in the district.
In Northampton County, 391 voters cast ballots for Kiggans, giving her 57.33% of the vote in the county, compared to Bell with 195 votes, or 28.59%; Altman with 86 votes, or 12.61%; and Baan with 10 votes, or 1.47%.
Accomack County voters preferred Bell, who received 1,004 votes, or 52.29%, compared to Kiggans with 776 votes, or 40.42%
Altman received 88 votes, or 4.58% and Baan received 52 votes, or 2.71%, in Accomack, according to unofficial results.
Membership in the Accomack County Republican Party increased 50% in the past six months, since Sellard became chairman, he said, attributing the increase in part to people being energized by the Youngkin gubernatorial campaign.