Kiggans Criticizes Luria for CHIPS and Science Act Vote While Holding NVIDIA Stock

State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is criticizing her opponent for Congress Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) for voting in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act while holding NVIDIA stock.

“Elaine Luria’s vote to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for an industry in which she owns up to $25 million in stocks would be unethical, self-serving, and the latest example of how she will put her bottom line ahead of her constituents’ well-being,” Kiggans said the day of the vote.

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VA-02, 07, 10 Incumbents Hold Lead in Congressional Fundraising; Early Fundraising Gives Preview of Competitive 2023 General Assembly Primaries

Incumbents are leading in fundraising in Virginia’s competitive congressional races, according to new second-quarter reports; Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) has about $4.9 million cash on hand, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) has about $4.3 million cash on hand, and Representative Jennifer Wexton has about $3.6 million on hand. Luria’s Republican challenger State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) has $413,279 cash on hand; Wexton’s challenger Hung Cao has $354,183 on hand, and Spanberger challenger Yesli Vega has $246,070, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Vega Wins VA-07 GOP Nomination, Kiggans Wins VA-02 Nomination

Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega is the GOP nominee to challenge Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), and State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is the GOP nominee to face Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02).

“I am honored the voters of Virginia’s seventh Congressional District have chosen me to be the Republican nominee in the general election this fall. As the first conservative Hispanic to win a Republican congressional primary in Virginia, this is a historic moment for Hispanics across Virginia and our nation. I want to thank my family, friends, volunteers, and all the voters who believe in our message of liberty, safety, and economic prosperity,” Vega said in a Tuesday night press release.

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VA-07 GOP Candidate Anderson Launches New Ad, Democrats Highlight Jarome Bell in VA-02 GOP Primary

VA-07 GOP candidate Derrick Anderson launched his third ad of the campaign on Wednesday, highlighting his Trump-aligned policies on the border, guns, and abortion ahead of the nomination on Tuesday.

“Lawlessness on our streets. Abortion on demand. Joe Biden and the radical Democrats are destroying America,” the ad says. “Conservative warrior Derrick Anderson is ready to fight back.”

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Reeves Leads in Latest VA-07 GOP Fundraising

Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is leading in the latest fundraising reports in the VA-07 GOP primary. In reports earlier this spring, Derrick Anderson led the field, showing him to be a serious contender, but Reeves is now at $680,511, while Anderson is at $599,324, according to data compiled by The Virginia Public Access Project.

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Youngkin, Miyares, and Earle-Sears Commemorate Armed Forces Day with Ceremonial Bill Signing

Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a proclamation honoring Armed Forces Day and ceremonially signed 23 bills focused on veterans and the military. Youngkin, Attorney General Jason Miyares, and Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears spoke at the bill-signing held at the Virginia War Memorial on Friday.

“It’s a powerful statement: 23 bills were passed unanimously,” Youngkin said. “I want to thank our veteran caucus for all the work that you do in order to make sure that our veterans are taken care of. These 23 bills are just the beginning. When the time comes for service members to retire, to turn the page on the next chapter of their life, we want them to make their permanent home in Virginia.”

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VA-02 Primary: Trump Invites Jarome Bell Onstage; Sen. Kiggans Launches First TV Ad

Former President Donald Trump brought VA-02 congressional candidate Jarome Bell on stage at a rally on Monday.

“So Jarome, what are you running for? What and where,” Trump asked, according to a video of the event, where attendees vied to draw Trump’s attention to their candidacies.

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Democrats Lead Fundraising in 2nd, 7th, and 10th Virginia Congressional Districts; Kiggans, Lawson, and Anderson Lead in Fundraising for GOP Nominations

In new fundraising results, Democrats are leading in congressional midterm races in Virginia’s second, seventh, and tenth congressional districts. The GOP hasn’t yet picked nominees for those races, but state Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach), Derrick Anderson, and Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson are leading in funds raised for races in CD two, seven, and ten respectively, according to data compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project.

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Virginia Rep. Luria Blasts Biden Defense Budget over Plan to Decommission Ships

Representative Elaine Luria (D-Virginia-02) blasted the Biden administration’s Fiscal Year 2023 $773 billion Defense Budget proposal, criticizing a plan to decommission ships in favor of cost savings. Luria, a Navy veteran, is facing a potentially serious re-election challenge with Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) and Jarome Bell, also Navy veterans, fighting for the GOP nomination. The area includes a large number of military bases, including Naval Station Norfolk.

“I have delayed putting out a statement about the Defense Budget because frankly it would have been mostly full of words you might expect from a Sailor, but here goes: It sucks,” Luria wrote in a series of tweets Tuesday.

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State Sen. Chase Presents Data About 2020 Election to Virginia Attorney General Miyares’ Office; Republicans and Democrats Kill Her Effort to Fund a Full Forensic Audit of the Election

Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) told senators Thursday that she had delivered information about the 2020 election to Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office on Tuesday. She pushed several budget amendment that would have spent millions of dollars on investigations both into the 2020 election and on future elections, but her amendments received vigorous opposition from Democrats and feeble support from Republicans.

“We presented quite a bit of data and information, our team did, to the attorney general’s office the day before yesterday, and one of their comments was that they need more time and more resources to do that investigation,” Chase said during debate over budget amendments.

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Virginia House of Delegates Passes ‘Divisive Concepts’ Ban

The House of Delegates passed HB 787, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-Loudoun) bill focused on controversial teaching in schools.  On Tuesday, the bill passed 50-49, with Delegate Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield) joining Democrats in opposition and Delegate Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie) not voting.

Before hearing the Democratic amendments, House Education Chair Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) explained a Republican amendment, “which makes it very clear that you can teach literature, history, whatever you’d like that takes into account the past or present beliefs that are set in subsection A above, Mr. Speaker.”

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Representative Luria Blasts Spanberger-Led Effort to Limit Congressional Stock Trading

Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) criticized efforts to regulate congressional stock trading which Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) is championing.

“So my thoughts on it, you know, I think this whole concept is bull***t. Because I think that, why would you assume that members of Congress are going to be inherently bad or corrupt? We already have the STOCK Act that requires people to report stock trades. Why would you assume – I mean, the people that you’re electing to represent you, it makes no sense that you’re going to automatically assume that they’re going to use their position for some nefarious means or to benefit themselves. So I’m very strongly opposed to any legislation like that,” Luria told Punchbowl News this week.

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Senate Public Education Subcommittee Recommends Blocking Youngkin’s ‘Inherently Divisive Concepts’ Ban Introduced by Sen. Kiggans

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Senate Education and Health Public Education Subcommittee recommended killing two bills from Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach): SB 766 which would ban transgender girls from playing girls’ sports, and  SB 570, which would codify Governor Glenn Youngkin’s “inherently divisive concept” ban. In its Thursday afternoon meeting the subcommittee also recommended killing Senator Travis Hackworth’s (R-Tazewell) SB 20 to eliminate a requirement that school boards adopt policies for the treatment of transgender students.

Kiggans, who is running for Congress, told the subcommittee that she was carrying SB 570 on behalf of the Youngkin administration.

“I said yes to carry this bill because I heard the voices of parents that spoke in November. You know, I was one of those parents as well,” Kiggans said, noting that Youngkin frequently talked about teaching kids how to think, not what to think.

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Senate Committee Kills Republican Election Integrity Reforms, Obenshain-Chase Conflict Resurfaces, Surovell Criticizes Miyares for Firing 30 Attorneys

RICHMOND, Virginia — The Virginia Senate Privileges and Elections killed several Republican- sponsored elections integrity bills on Tuesday afternoon, including photo voter identification bills and a bill to repeal same-day voter registration. The committee also killed campaign finance reform bills from Senators Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) and Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax.)

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Virginia Supreme Court Redistricting Map Drafts Shake Up Incumbents

The Virginia Supreme Court’s Special Masters released their first redistricting map proposals Tuesday, receiving mixed reactions over what will be a major shakeup for Virginia incumbents if final drafts are similar to the proposals.

The Court chose Republican-nominated Sean Trende and Democratic-nominated Bernard Grofman to draw the maps.

“These maps reflect a true joint effort on our part. We agreed on almost all issues initially, and the few issues on which we initially disagreed were resolved by amicable discussion,” the Special Masters wrote in a memo. “[W]e took seriously the Court’s command that, although we were nominated by the political parties, we would behave in ‘an apolitical and nonpartisan manner.’ Our duty is owed not to the parties that nominated us, but rather to the Court that appointed us and to the residents of the Commonwealth that it serves.”

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New Virginia Gov. Youngkin Announces More Transition Officials

Glenn Youngkin announced a 113-member list of legislators, law enforcement, business owners, and Republican Party of Virginia officials that will be part of his transition “landing teams” — separate from the transition steering committee he announced earlier in November. The teams will coordinate with Governor Ralph Northam’s cabinet.

“In order to change the trajectory of our great Commonwealth, our transition team is utilizing the vast experience of business owners, law enforcement officials, veterans, healthcare providers, industry experts, and—most importantly—parents to determine how government can begin to serve Virginians better and start delivering on our Day One promises of better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living, and more jobs,” Youngkin said in a Wednesday press release.

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Virginia Gets the First U.S.-Based Offshore Wind Blade Manufacturing Facility

Offshore wind turbine blade manufacturing is coming to the U.S. and Virginia as part of a partnership between Dominion Energy and Spain-based manufacturer Siemens Gamesa. Dominion Energy has been expanding its offshore wind project with support from Virginia officials, and is already using Siemens Gamesa to manufacture blades in Europe.

“Virginians want renewable energy, our employers want it, and Virginia is delivering it,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a Monday press release. “The Commonwealth is joining these leading companies to create the most important clean-energy partnership in the United States. This is good news for energy customers, the union workers who will bring this project to life, and our business partners. Make no mistake: Virginia is building a new industry in renewable energy, with more new jobs to follow, and that’s good news for our country.”

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Virginia State Senator Bryce Reeves Seeking Congressional Nomination to Challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger

State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. The region is considered a swing district and Republicans nationally expect to do well in the 2022 midterm congressional elections. The nominee will likely challenge incumbent Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), who has warned her party about the risks to moderates caused by progressive messaging and policy.

“Under President Trump our economy was humming, people were working, and government did not dominate or intrude in our lives and livelihood. But under Joe Biden and Abigail Spanberger, an intrusive, progressive government is failing us, badly. Spanberger has failed to make the Seventh District what it should be – the best place to work, live, and raise a family,” Reeves said in a Friday press release.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Proposes $862 Million of American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Partially Refill Unemployment Trust Fund

As part of his “Investment Week” announcing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation proposals, Governor Ralph Northam announced $862 million for Virginia’s unemployment insurance trust fund, depleted during COVID-19.

“Shoring up the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance trust fund is a smart investment that will prevent Virginia businesses from paying higher taxes and allow our economy to continue surging,” Northam said in a Tuesday announcement.

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Congressional Candidate Kiggans Signs Pledge to Support Term Limits Amendment

Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) has signed a pledge to support a term limits Constitutional amendment if she is elected to Congress. The proposed amendment would limit U.S. representatives to three terms, and U.S. Senators to two terms. Of Virginia’s current federal legislators, only Congressman Bob Good (R-Virginia-05) has signed the pledge. Good is also a cosponsor of HJR 12 in the current Congressional session.

“Term limits on elected officials will help guarantee the will of the people, not special interests or career politicians, are being heard,” Kiggans said in a press release.

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One-Fourth of Bills Passed in 2021 Virginia General Assembly Sessions Passed Along Party Lines

In 2020 and 2021, the Democrat-led General Assembly passed nearly 20 percent more bills through strict party-line votes than in the three previous years when Republicans controlled both chambers. According to a data visualization from the Virginia Public Access Project, in 2020, 24 percent of bills passed were passed along party lines with Democrats voting for and Republicans voting against. In 2021, that number grew to 25 percent. In the Republican controlled sessions of 2017, 2018, and 2019, the percentage of bills passed along party lines was respectively 7.7 percent, 4.7 percent, and 5.7 percent.

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Gubernatorial Hopeful Pete Snyder Announces Election Integrity Plan

Pete Snyder announced his ‘Honest Vote’ election integrity plan on Thursday. The six-point plan focuses on transparency ballot verification and ballot verification measures.

“Having secure, legal, and trustworthy elections is something that we must demand in our Commonwealth. Unfortunately, for too many Virginians, whether they be Republicans, Democrats or independents, trust in our election system has been severely strained and due to many last minute Covid-related changes to our voting systems,” Snyder said in a press release.

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Virginia House of Delegates Kills Senator Kiggans’ Bill Requiring Weekly List of Decedents Sent to Department of Elections

Senator Jen Kiggans’ (R-Virginia Beach) election reform bill passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support 34 to five. But when the bill was sent to the House of Delegates, the Privileges and Elections Committee voted to table the bill, effectively killing it. Kiggans’ bill SB 1422 would have required the State Registrar of Vital Records to provide a weekly list of deceased people to the Department of Elections, a process that currently is required to happen monthly.

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Virginia General Assembly Approves Moving Local Elections from May to November

The General Assembly has passed legislation to move local elections for city, town council, and school board from May to November, starting in 2022. Proponents say the bill will boost voter turnout, especially among working-class voters, while many city officials say the bill is state interference that will lead to greater partisanship in local elections.

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GOP Lieutenant Governor Candidates Ramp Up Their Campaigns

71 percent of Republican voters are undecided about the GOP Lieutenant Governor candidates; a recent Christopher Newport/Wason Center Poll found just eight percent of voters supported Delegate Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), with Tim Hugo in second place at four percent. But the Republican Party of Virginia nomination convention is just over two months away, and the five candidates for the nomination are working to build the biggest list of delegates to the convention.

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Virginia General Assembly Approves Styrofoam Ban

The General Assembly passed a polystyrene (Styrofoam) ban for serving food in restaurants and similar vendors in Virginia. The bill, passed on Wednesday, will first take effect in July 2023 to large vendors with more than 20 locations; in July 2025, it will apply to all vendors, although vendors can apply for temporary exemptions to their localities. Violation can result in a $50 per day fine.

Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) pushed HB 1902 in the Senate as a compromise to allow the House of Delegates to pass a bill adjusting regulation of new recycling technology. Republicans opposed the polystyrene ban, saying it would harm small businesses, but supported Senator Emmet Hanger’s (R-Augusta) advanced recycling regulation bill.

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Virginia Second Congressional District 2022 Race Candidate Preview

With the 2020 state congressional elections completed and incumbent Democratic Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) having defeated Republican challenger Scott Taylor, conservative hopefuls must now look toward 2022 when the 2nd District seat will again be up for grabs.

Securing her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Luria handily beat Taylor by just under six percentage points and received nearly 21,000 more votes, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

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Bill Giving AG Increased Authority to Investigate Patterns of Misconduct by Police Signed into Law

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill into law on Wednesday that gives the state attorney general additional powers to investigate unlawful patterns or practices by law enforcement officers and file civil action to stop the misconduct.

Introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), Senate Bill 5024 was one of several bills approved by the governor this week.

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