Senate District Seven voters are voting Tuesday to fill the vacancy left now that Jen Kiggans is representing the region in Congress; while the SD 7 race is the most competitive on Tuesday, there are also elections in House Districts 35 and 24.
In SD7, Republican Kevin Adams, a Navy veteran, is running against Democrat Aaron Rouse, former Virginia Beach City councilman and a former NFL player. Senate Democrats see the special election as a chance to expand their narrow 21-seat majority, which leaves them vulnerable to tie-breaking votes from Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears. For Republicans, keeping a Republican in the seat is important if they hope to see even minor changes on issues like education and abortion.
“This election will determine the future of our Commonwealth, and I’m looking forward to working with Governor Youngkin in Richmond to crack down on violent criminals, support our veterans and lower our taxes,” Adams tweeted.
In a recent video, Rouse touted his work for Virginia Beach raising the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour, bringing the Something in the Water festival to the city, and “making sure we can find tax relief for families, capping personal property tax, and finding those small business tax reliefs.”
In 2019, Kiggans won SD 7 as a non-incumbent with 50.36 percent of the vote, and in 2021, Governor Glenn Youngkin carried the district 51.7 percent, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which reports that Republicans have represented the seat for two decades. However, in November 2022, then-Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) carried the SD 7 region 51.91 percent, even though Kiggans won the race overall.
The House races are less consequential, with one favoring Republicans and one favoring Democrats. Additionally, despite the two vacancies, House Republicans hold a 51-47 majority — even if Democrats win both of Tuesday’s House special elections, they will not tie the chamber.
In HD 35, Democrat Holly Seibold is running against Republican Monique Baroudi; Seibold is favored to win in the deep-blue Fairfax district. The winner will finish former Delegate Mark Keam’s term after he resigned to join the Biden administration.
Republican Ellen Campbell is running to fill the seat left vacant by her late husband, Delegate Ronnie Campbell; she’s facing Democrat Jade Harris, but HD 24 is a strongly-Republican region where Del. Campbell won in 2021 with 73.09 percent of the vote.
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