Kiggans wins, flips key district

Jen Kiggans defeats incumbent Elaine Luria in Second District.

In accordance with the Republican Party flipping the House of Representatives, Jen Kiggans won the seat for Virginia’s Second Congressional District. She won against Elaine Luria, the representative elected in 2018. 

The  Virginia Department of Elections reports that Kiggans won with 153,132 votes compared to Luria’s 142,863 votes.

Kiggans held an election party at The Westin in the Virginia Beach Town Center, where she spoke to supporters. “We’re here to celebrate a renewed commitment to restore American strength — a commitment to restore a strong economy, strong schools, strong communities and a strong national defense,” she said.

Senior Josh Heller voted in Virginia’s Second District. “The voting process is really easy and simple, it only took me five minutes to vote,” Heller said.

In regards to whether the school as a whole should focus more on election results and voting, Heller said, “many students don’t have much of any interest in politics so it could very well be a wasted effort. But if you have a group of active listeners, I think it’s always great to learn more about our country and the issues we face.”

Joshua Spicer, a sophomore from Pennsylvania, voted in his home district, but spoke on election results across the country. “Overall the lack of a Republican ‘wave’ was not what I expected and was upsetting for me but people across the country spoke at the ballot boxes,” Spicer said.

Spicer commented on the potential for bipartisan efforts with the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives and the Democrats in control of the Senate. “For the country, it is going to be an interesting two years. We are most likely looking at a lot of bills being unable to be passed without very strong bipartisan work,” Spicer said.

As a Political Science major, Spicer is well-versed in American politics. “President Biden will most likely also have difficulty garnering support in the House with his historically low approval rating. In my opinion, Congress will be in a stalemate for the next two years,” he said.

The Washington Post reported that there were speculations leading up to the elections of a red wave, meaning the Republicans would dominate both the House and the Senate.

“The ‘red wave’ that Republicans were sure of ended up being more of a ripple. Yes, they are projected to gain control of the House, but by a very small margin and with the Senate race in Nevada being called for the Democrat, the hopes of a Republican Senate were dashed,” Spicer said.

Spicer predicts many hot button issues will be discussed in the coming months and years, with abortion being one of them. “Students should be prepared for a lot more bickering in Congress. With a Republican House and a Democratic Senate not much is going to be able to be passed and partisan bickering is going to be at an all time high as both sides attempt to push their agendas through,” Spicer said.

In conclusion, Spicer said, “There will be a lot of debate and many words exchanged in the halls of Congress, but nothing substantial will be changed or made until the next election when majorities and the presidency could be changed up again.”

Local elections were less contested than the race between Kiggans and Luria. Staci R. Martin won a seat on the school board for Virginia Beach’s Fourth District. Martin received 56.47% of the vote, equaling to 5,411 votes. Her challenger, Ken R. Lubeck, received 4,086 votes.

Amelia M. Ross-Hammond ran unopposed for a city council position and won with 95.90% of the vote, totaling at 8,583 votes. The other 4.10% of the votes were write-ins.

By Rhian Tramontana