Virginia GOP voters to settle crowded congressional runoff

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Voters in Virginia on Tuesday will select Republican candidates in two races expected to be among the most competitive of the year for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Voters will sift out a four-person field in the Coastal 2nd District and a six-person field in the central 7th District to run against centrist Democratic incumbents Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger. The general election races could help determine which party controls the US House of Representatives.

“The path to flipping the US House is through Hampton Roads, through VA-02,” said a confident Senator Jen Kiggans, the 2nd Circuit’s presumptive frontrunner, in a recent interview. “I understand how serious this is and that’s why we worked hard.”

Kiggans is a former Navy helicopter pilot and geriatric nurse serving in the state Senate since 2020. Your opponents on Tuesday are also all veterans. They include Tommy Altman, tattoo shop owner from Virginia Beach; Andy Baan, a former prosecutor who retired as a Navy captain; and Jarome Bell, a retired Navy chief petty officer who calls himself the “MAGA candidate.”

Former President Donald Trump did not approve in the 2nd or 7th districts.

Don Lovett, 74, who lives in Smithfield, said in a recent interview that he tended to vote for Kiggans because of her military service and General Assembly experience, which he said made her more likely to beat Luria in November . Luria, also a Navy veteran, is a moderate staffer on the January 6 committee investigating the 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Lovett, who owns a company that sells specialty electrical instruments, said he sees little difference in the issues between the candidates but was put off by some of Bell’s harsh rhetoric, who has called for the execution of anyone who disagrees with one according to widespread voters were involved in the fraud.

“I’ll try to pick a good candidate for sure, but also the most viable candidate, especially if it’s going to be a close race, and I think it will be,” he said.

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