There’s a heated primary going on in VA02 for the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA02) in the fall. This “purple,” Hampton Roads district is shaping up to be a major battleground, so it’s very much worth watching closely.
The two main Republican candidates are State Senator Jen Kiggans and Jarome Bell. For more on Kiggans, see Sen. Kiggans’s Obsession with The Big Lie; “Kiggans has sprinted to the far-right fringes” in Attempt to Win VA02 GOP Primary (“Among other things, Kiggans ‘refused to say who won the 2020 presidential election,’ refused to censure insurrectionist Amanda Chase”). As for Bell, see Conspiracy Theorist Candidate Jarome Bell Closes in on Jen Kiggans in VA-02 After Trump Lays Down Big Lie Litmus Test and And The First Virginia Congressional Endorsement Goes To…. Jarome Bell. So obviously, if either of these candidates were to defeat Rep. Elaine Luria, it would represent a sharp shift to the (far) right.
For a taste of the fight between Kiggans and Bell, check out the following audios, courtesy of the John Reid Show on WRVA, from yesterday and this morning. In the first, Bell rips Kiggans for her vote for the “Virginia Values Act,” which “Prohibited discrimination; public accommodations, employment, credit, and housing: causes of action; sexual orientation and gender identity,” and which passed the State Senate in 2020 by a large majority, with only the most hard-right Republicans voting against it.
“I definitely have my eye on Jen Kiggans…I would call her not a Republican or a conservative, I would call her a radical leftist RINO because of her voting record…She hadn’t found an LGBTQ bill she doesn’t like. She signed off on the Virginia Values Act, that now has transgendereds as a protected class, just like any other race or disability person...and that’s just one bill she signed off on.”
Hmmm. So this morning, Kiggans came on the same right-wing radio show, and responded to Bell as follows:
“It’s unfortunate that he’s running really a one-issue smear campaign, and there’s a lot of misinformation floating around out there about my voting record…I’ve always been a candidate who believes in equality…nondiscrimination, I just want to set the record straight about the trans issue. I have voted staunchly against Senate bills and House bills that establish a transgender policy in our schools…I also sponsored a bill this past session that prohibited transgender men from participating in women’s sports. As an athlete, as a mom to athletes, as a coach, I believe there is no place for that in our schools. Men should not be in women’s bathrooms, period, hands down.”
In other words, the race to the far right continues in VA02, making it all the more urgent that we do everything we can to reelect the superb Rep. Elaine Luria this November!