We Now Know Who Will Challenge These Particularly Vulnerable Virginia Democrats

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Posted: Jun 21, 2022 9:50 PM
We Now Know Who Will Challenge These Particularly Vulnerable Virginia Democrats

Source: AP Photo/Steve Helber

Heading into the November midterm elections, Republicans are expected to pick up a particularly high amount of seats to win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and two Virginia races may be crucial to such results. Among the most vulnerable are Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, Democrats who represent Virginia's 7th and 2nd Congressional Districts, respectively. As of shortly after 9:00pm EST, we now know that Yesli Vega will challenge Spanberger and Jen Kiggans will challenge Luria. 

Both candidates received the backing from high profile figures and groups. 

Decision Desk called the 2nd Congressional District race much earlier in the evening, after polls had been closed for a little over 45 minutes. 

According to Decision Desk, with 82 percent of the vote now in, Kiggans has 55.65 percent of the vote, with her closest competitor, Jarome Bell, at 27.09 percent of the vote. 

Kiggans had received an endorsement from Rep. Elise Stefanik's (R-NY) E-PAC, which was founded to elect more Republican women. E-PAC has had close to a perfect track record of candidates who have won their primaries, including the newly elected Mayra Flores in Texas' 34th Congressional District. She was sworn in earlier on Tuesday. 

All of the prognosticators consider the race to be a "Toss-up," and Rep. Luria was among those that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) added to its frontline program in March of last year as a way to protect vulnerable incumbents. 

It took a little bit longer for Vega to be declared the winner in the Republican primary for the 7th Congressional District.

Vega was competing in a more crowded field with five other candidates. She led the field for most of the evening, though it was consistently close between her and Derrick Anderson, who, for a short time, had a razor-thin lead over her.

Earlier in the evening, with 90 percent of the vote in, Vega led with 27 percent of the vote to Anderson's 24 percent.

Vega had been endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who also came to the district to campaign for her.

Prognosticators regard the race as slightly favoring Spanberger, whose odds improved due to redistricting.  Cook Political Report still has it as a "Toss-up," though, while Sabato's Crystal Ball has it as "Lean Democratic" and Inside Elections considers it as "Tilt Democratic."

Spanberger was added to the DCCC frontline program the same time as Luria, in March of last year. 

Shortly after the races were announced, the RNC sent out a statement from Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel who noted that "Democrats lost in Virginia last November and that trend will continue into 2022. Republicans Jen Kiggans and Yesli Vega will fight for parents' rights in schools and will hold Joe Biden accountable for high gas prices, the baby formula shortage, and soaring inflation. The Old Dominion knows Republicans have and will continue to deliver results where Democrats fail."