Republican Jen Kiggans flips Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria’s seat in critical GOP victory in Virginia
After Virginia gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli had a tough race with his challenger Rep. Randy Forbes, Republicans in the state elected Ken Cuccinelli as the state’s governor in 2010. Cuccinelli had never been elected to a public office, and he entered this year’s race with little name recognition. He was the first out lesbian candidate to win a major party nomination in the U.S., and he got as much of the Democratic vote as he could as he cruised to victory in the general election over Forbes.
The Republicans who were elected with Cuccinelli’s support went on to win in the state Senate. That, combined with the victories of Republican candidate Bob McDonnell in the state’s attorney general and lieutenant governor races, Republicans in the state ended up with a 20-16 majority in the Virginia House. With the GOP’s gains in both houses of the legislature, the Republicans are poised to increase their power in the state.
As we reported last night, Democrats have won the governorship in the state — as of this writing the Senate had yet to vote on the Democratic nominee for governor — but Republicans, with a supermajority in the state House, are poised to make major gains in other key races.
That’s what happened in Virginia (click here to read more about the state’s governor election results). In one of the Virginia house races which had been called for tonight, Republican member of the House of Delegates from Chesterfield County, Dr. Elaine Luria, who has served in the House of Delegates since 2004, flipped the Democratic seat from one Republican to another and flipped the Democratic seat from one Republican to another in the state House. The seat was held by a Democrat for the last two terms, but was won by a Republican in this most recent election.
Luria is of Indian background and is a doctor, but she was first elected to the House of Delegates as a Republican. She served one term after the 2001 Virginia gubernatorial election, and then switched parties in 2004 after a special election to replace the retiring Senator John Warner. At the time, she said her reason for switching parties was to preserve the Republican-controlled redistricting process.
“With the new redistricting that was going on, you could not have a full-term Democrat in the