Luria defeats Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District race

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Rep. Elaine Luria, a Democrat, has won reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. The Associated Press called the race at 11:19 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4.

She defeated former Congressman Scott Taylor (R) for a second time.

The latest tally as of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday showed Luria up at 50.9% (175,737 votes) to Taylor’s 46.6% (160,711).

Luria did not make an appearance in front of supporters or media Tuesday night, but released a statement on her win Wednesday afternoon.

“Thank you to the voters of the 2nd District who have entrusted me with a second term as their Representative and their voice in Congress. Now, more than ever, the challenges we face as a nation call for bipartisan solutions and cooperation across the political spectrum. For the past two years, that’s how I’ve worked in Congress. And as your representative, that’s what will continue to guide my efforts.

Together, we’ll fight to ensure that health care is more accessible and affordable, that small businesses lead the way in our economic recovery and that the benefits our veterans, servicemembers, and their families have earned are protected.”

Rep. Elaine Luria

Luria’s camp benefited greatly Wednesday morning as the City of Virginia Beach reported its more than 125,000 early voting and mail-in ballot results. Those gave Luria a little more than 3 point lead over Taylor on Tuesday night.

According to the registrar’s office, Taylor won 79 of 100 precincts. Luria only won due to early voting where she beat Scott 2-1.

As of Wednesday evening, dedicated Virginia Beach election workers were finishing up the counting of about 125,000 ballots that are early voting, including absentee. Vote counting will continue Thursday. It’s estimated there are still 8,500 early votes to go through, and about 2,000 provisional ballots

Jeff Marks, chair of the Virginia Beach Electoral Board, said some mail-in votes will continue to come in until noon Friday.

Officials are also troubleshooting.

“We spent the morning going through the provisional ballots. People came here to talk to us about their situation, and what was wrong with their ballots and why,” he said. 

The election must be certified by Tuesday. 

Also Wednesday, Taylor released a statement conceding to Luria.

“Congratulations to Congresswoman Luria. Let us all hope that she is successful in her next two years as our representative in Washington.

Thank you to my wonderful family and friends who have supported me throughout my political endeavors, both the highs and the lows. 

Deep gratitude to my team. You amazed me with your grit and tenacity. I have been in 11 political races, and I know of no finer political team or harder workers. You left it all on the field, and I am both thankful for and proud of you all. Being outspent over 4-to-1, and subjected to shameful smears, our team’s execution was excellent to make this race so competitive. Never forget that it’s not a cowardly critic that counts, but the man or woman in the fight…never give up.

People may not like politicians, or even politics, but that is the medium through which we control our destiny. I am truly appreciative for the honor and the privilege of having served you as a U.S. Navy SEAL, Virginia Delegate, and U.S. Congressman. We indeed live in the best country in the world, where one can raise his or her station in life through hard work, persistence, and a little luck.

There is currently a division in our nation that seems unbearable to many, but throughout our short American history, we have struggled through turmoil before. Over time, I believe that the push and pull of democracy within our great, flexible republic strengthens the fabric of our society and keeps us heading in the direction of that ever elusive, more perfect union.

Thank you for all the love and support. God Bless our great nation.”

We asked Luria about the email from Taylor.

“I heard from my staff he posted a statement online but I have not spoken to him,” she said. 

Taylor lost to Luria by a little over 2 points in 2018 when he was the incumbent.

During this election, Taylor had accused Luria of running a smear campaign, hitting him again with the election fraud case involving staffers who were charged for forging signatures to get an opponent on the ballot attempting to drain democratic votes from Luria. Taylor says he knew of the gathering of signatures, but not the forging of signatures. After more than two years, Taylor still hasn’t been charged.

It is true, since the 2018 campaign, two of Taylor’s former campaign workers pleaded guilty to amended charges related to the forging of signatures to get Shaun Brown on the ballot to take away Democratic votes from Luria. Brown and Luria are both Democrats. Another former staffer was recently indicted.   

“I think when voters were reminded of that issue and the pending investigation, it certainly swayed their decision process,” Luria said.

Now, Luria’s main goal, legislatively, is a cancer incident study for military pilots, 

“Antidotally, there a lot of military pilots who have flown in aircraft who have suffered from different cancers, and rare cancers, but there hasn’t been a scientific comprehensive study, and that is one thing I have put in the defense bill,” she said.

And what about COVID-19 relief?

“We have to work on getting another COVID-19 relief package and dealing with all the challenges that COVID has presented from a public health perspective and the challenges it’s created for people and their families,” Luria said. 

“A veteran and a small business owner, Elaine Luria has spent her first term in Congress on a mission to put Coastal Virginians first. Whether working across the aisle to lower the cost of prescription drugs or repeal unfair taxes on Gold Star families, Elaine works every day to deliver for the communities she serves. I congratulate Elaine on this decisive victory.”

DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos, Blue Virginia

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