VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Republicans hoped to turn over three congressional seats in Virginia but only managed to win in the second congressional district on Tuesday.
“I think the Republican Party has performed well, but not as well as people were hoping,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin told News 3 Wednesday morning.
Nationwide, results have been mixed, with Republicans expected to have a narrow majority in the House of Representatives despite hopes a “red wave” would result in dozens of seats.
Control of the Senate remained undetermined Wednesday, with vote counts still ongoing in Arizona and Nevada. The Georgia race appears to be headed for a runoff.
Virginia Republicans and Youngkin fought aggressively in the second, seventh, and tenth congressional districts. Abigail Spanberger was able to hold her newly drawn seventh district against Republican Yesli Vega. Jennifer Wexton defeated Republican Hung Cao in the tenth.
“All of those races were incredibly close and we expected them to be close. Especially in the seventh and tenth, we knew those races were buggy all the time,” Youngkin said.
In the second, Republican Jen Kiggans beat Democrat Elaine Luria by about 12,000 votes. The race is much tighter in Virginia Beach, with Kiggans only leading by about 550 votes, but due to other locale reallocations, Kiggans has the edge. She won by about 8,000 in the Chesapeake portion of the district.
Luria conceded the race on Tuesday evening just before 11 p.m.
“Look, Elaine Luria — that was a hard redistribution for her. It has made them very tough demographics. Considering how close she came, I’m incredibly proud of her,” said Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Virginia Democratic Party. “Two out of three – I’ll take it. It’s a win in this environment.”
In comparison, Gov. Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe in Virginia Beach in 2021 by about 13,000 votes. News 3 asked Youngkin what that says about where voters think.
“[Luria] is an incumbent and removing an incumbent is a real challenge and I think it’s a real statement when a challenger removes an incumbent,” Youngkin replied.
While election day is over, work for election officials isn’t. On Wednesday, across the state, they began auditing the results to make sure the numbers are accurate.
In Virginia Beach, polling officials have to go through about 2,500 provisional ballots, which they say is more than normal given Virginia’s new same-day registration policy.
You have until Tuesday to certify the results to the state. “All the stories about ‘Oh my god, elections don’t work’, you realize they are just that. It’s stories. You have patriotic, focused, very intelligent people on both sides of the political aisle who just get here to get it right,” said Dave Belote, vice chair of the Virginia Beach Electoral Board.