Wed, Jun 22, 2022 4:52 AM
By By Tyler Arnold | The Center Square, The Center Square
(The Center Square) – Republicans have selected their candidates for the two most contentious seats in the Virginia Congressional delegation – Jennifer Kiggans in the second district and Yesli Vega in the seventh district.
Kiggans, who serves in the Virginia Senate, will face incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria in November. Yesli Vega, who serves as the Coles District Supervisor in Prince William County, will face incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. The Virginia Public Access Project lists both districts as Republican-leaning districts, based on the 2021 gubernatorial election results.
With about 98% of the vote reporting in, Kiggans secured nearly 56% of the vote in the second district. She defeated Jarome Bell who finished with slightly more than 27% of the vote and Tommy Altman with just over 14.2% of the vote. Kiggans was endorsed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“During her time in the Virginia State Senate, Jen [Kiggans] has represented her voters with integrity, working hard each day to defend their interests,” the Republican Party of Virginia said in a statement.
“In Congress, Jen will fight for local job creation, keeping healthcare costs down, and limiting government spending,” the statement read. “We look forward to working with Jen over the next five months and once she is in Congress to deliver real results for the Commonwealth. Virginians have had enough of Elanie Luria’s dangerous radicalism, and are ready for a new voice representing them in Washington.”
In the seventh district, Vega won a more narrow race, securing just under 29% of the vote in a six-person race. She defeated Derrick Anderson, who garnered almost 24% of the vote, Bryce Reeves who collected slightly more than 20% of the vote and Crystal Vanuch who got 17% of the vote.
Noah Wall, the executive director of small-government advocacy group FreedomWorks, congratulated Vega on her win.
“Vega is a great candidate–a true embodiment of the American Dream who will fight to make our communities safer and reverse the crime wave sweeping our country; defend the Constitution; and work to reinvigorate the economy as well as Americans’ faith in the future,” Wall said in a statement.
“Vega will be a tremendous improvement upon Rep. Abigail Spanberger, the so-called moderate who votes in line with the Biden-Pelosi radical agenda and has been a huge disappointment to so many in the district,” Wall said. “We look forward to seeing Vega take on Spanbeger this November and are confident that she has what it takes to flip this district. We wish Vega luck.”
Neither Luria nor Spanberger faced primary challengers.
Also on Thursday, Virginia voters stuck by two incumbents who faced primary challengers. In the eighth district, Congressman Don Beyer defeated challenger Victoria Virasingh with more than three-fourths of the electorate. Congressman Ben Cline defeated challenger Merritt Hale with more than 80% of the electorate.
In the third district, Republicans chose Terry Namkung to challenge Democratic Congressman Bobby Scott.