ELECTION SPOTLIGHT: Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District midterm candidates answer crucial policy questions

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Jen Kiggans won the Republican primary in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional district on June 21, securing her spot in the November midterms where she will challenge incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., for the seat.

Both candidates talked exclusively to Fox News Digital, answering the same set of questions that are important to Virginia voters.

What do you think of President Biden’s current handling of the economy, and if you are elected in November, what policies would you promote to respond to inflation and the costs of consumer goods around the country?

Luria: “Though unemployment remains at record lows, inflation and rising energy costs continue to risk our economic recovery and impact Coastal Virginians and working families across the country. I remain committed to working with both sides of the aisle on legislation like the COMPETES Act, the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act, and the Price Gouging Prevention Act. To lower prices and provide relief, we must take an all of the above approach that provides relief in the short term and works toward long-term goals of increasing our domestic energy production and promoting energy development.”

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Kiggans: “Joe Biden’s handling of the economy has been disastrous. From record inflation, to the highest gas prices we’ve seen in decades, to labor shortages and a seemingly never ending supply chain crisis, the American people need help. In Congress, I look forward to restoring the strength of the American economy. To start we need to restore energy independence by reopening the keystone pipeline and to open up federal leases for drilling on federal lands. We also need to curb the Democrats and Biden administration’s reckless spending policies that are overheating the economy, causing the record inflation and labor shortages we are currently facing. We also need to roll back government regulations that the Biden administration has placed on businesses that are increasing inflation and attempting to regulate companies out of existence.”

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

How would you address gun violence in the United States?

Luria: “As a 20-year Navy veteran, I believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns, but common sense measures are necessary to keep our communities safe from gun violence. We must strike the right balance between responsible gun ownership and safety, and I was proud to support the Protecting Our Kids Act and Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to expand background checks and prevent guns from winding up in the wrong hands.”

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Kiggans: “To tackle gun violence in the United States, we need to have law and order. Crime rates are up across the nation, and they are a direct result of weak Democrat policies that have emboldened criminals and demoralized our law enforcement. In order to restore community safety we need to fully fund our law enforcement to do their job, safely and effectively.”

Jen Kiggans won the GOP primary for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District
(Kristen Zeis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

What do you think are the two biggest concerns to voters in your state right now?

Luria: “Higher prices are putting a strain on working families, and the disruptions in the global economy and supply chains that are responsible for rising costs at the gas pump and grocery store is a top concern that I hear from Coastal Virginians. Supporting our men and women in uniform, veterans, and military families is also one of the top issues I hear from voters in Hampton Roads. I have consistently fought for and passed an increase in pay and benefits for our veterans and military families, including a nearly 5% raise for active-duty personnel in this year’s NDAA. This year’s NDAA also includes an additional $37 billion through my amendment to grow the Navy, strengthen national security and defend our interests against threats like China, Russia, and Iran.” 

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Kiggans: “Over the course of this campaign, I have knocked on thousands of doors and talked to thousands more voters from across the 2nd district. In talking to voters I have heard one issue consistently, the economy. Americans are struggling plain and simple, and we need to restore our strength in our economy. In addition, Virginia’s Second Congressional District is home to a huge population of active duty military members and veterans. These Virginians, like so many others, are concerned with America’s standing on the world stage, especially after Joe Biden’s reckless withdrawal from Afghanistan. Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies certainly no longer trust us. We need to prioritize a strong national defense and restore America’s strength and leadership on the world stage.”

Rep. Luria is set to face GOP candidate Jen Kiggans in the midterms this fall.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

What is your message to voters who are currently deciding between you and your opponent?

Luria: “As a 20-year Navy veteran and former small business owner who puts the people of Coastal Virginia over politics, I have fought to expand health care services and benefits for veterans, secure billions for the defense budget, invest in local infrastructure, and support small businesses and working families. I will continue to work across the aisle in a bipartisan fashion to be an independent voice that puts people over politics and delivers for Coastal Virginia.”

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Kiggans: “The upcoming midterms are our best opportunity to end the liberal one-party rule that is currently hurting everyday Americans. Joe Biden’s policies are on the ballot this November and in Virginia’s Second District they go by the name of Elaine Luria. Virginians have a clear choice in this election, continue Joe Biden’s disastrous policies or send clear commonsense conservative leadership to Washington. We must elect leaders who will prioritize restoring American strength in our economy, at our borders, and on the world stage. I look forward to doing just that.”

Jen Kiggans is the Republican nominee for Virginia’s Second Congressional District. Photo provided by Jen Kiggans for Congress campaign.
(Jen Kiggans for Congress )

What is one fun fact about yourself that voters might not know?

Luria: “Voters may not know that I earned a blackbelt in Tae Keon Do and was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear power program.”

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Kiggans: “My second language is Japanese…! Before attending flight school, I was privileged to participate in the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) Program where I lived in Japan and taught English. Japan is like a second home to me, having taught in the JET Program and being deployed there multiple times with the Navy!”

Luria and Kiggans will face off this fall in the Virginia midterm election on Nov. 8, 2022. 

Aubrie Spady is a college associate for Fox News Digital.

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