2 Bellwether House Races Go Opposite Ways

Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger wins, but Elaine Luria, on the Jan. 6 panel, loses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2022 10:30 PM CST
2 Bellwether House Races Go Opposite Ways
Rep Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., right, talks with a supporter Oct. 11, 2022, in Stafford, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

In two big House races seen as bellwethers for how the midterms may play out, the results are split. Both are out of Virginia. Democrats scored a significant win with the victory of Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who won a close race over Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega per the AP. But Republicans notched a big victory of their own when Rep. Elaine Luria—a member of the Jan. 6 panel—lost to GOP State Sen. Jen Kiggans. Another Democratic congresswoman in Virginia, Jennifer Wexton, won her race for re-election. All three incumbents were elected to Congress in 2018 as part of a blue wave, and all were top targets of the GOP in this election cycle, per the AP.

  • Spanberger campaigned on abortion rights, running ads that highlighted comments from Vega that expressed doubt about whether women could become pregnant from rape. Vega raised millions and brought in high-profile GOP surrogates. She highlighted her life story as a daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, and would have become Virginia’s first Latina member of Congress if elected.
  • Luria has called Kiggans an election denier. Kiggans has acknowledged that Joe Biden is president but has remained silent on whether she believes he was fairly elected.
  • Wexton, a former prosecutor and state legislator, had been favored in her re-election bid against Republican Hung Cao. Wexton has won more than 56% of the vote in her last two elections. But Republicans had high hopes for Cao, a retired Navy captain and Vietnamese immigrant, in a district with high percentages of Asian Americans and military families.
(More Abigail Spanberger stories.)

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