Democrat Luria claims victory over Taylor in 2nd Congressional District race

With 98 percent of precincts reporting as of 10:48 p.m. Tuesday, Democrat Elaine Luria claimed victory over incumbent Rep. Scott Taylor in the race for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

“I am honored to once again answer the call to serve our country and look forward to representing Virginia’s Second District in Congress,” Luria said in an emailed statement. “I want to thank all of my supporters who worked so hard, and I want to thank Congressman Taylor for his service to our country and this district.

According to unofficial results from the state’s Department of Elections, Luria garnered 129,464 (50.79 percent) of the votes to Taylor’s 125,171 or 49.11 percent.

“I also want to thank Congressman Taylor’s supporters and make something very clear: My door will be open, my phones will be on. And my job now is to work hard for all of my constituents, regardless of who they voted for on Election Day,” Luria said.

The 2nd district includes Accomack and Northampton counties, portions of York County, and the cities of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton.

“I have always been honest about what kind of leader I will be — an independent voice who will put country over party and lead in a bipartisan way,” Luria said. “While I will always look for common ground, while I will always be willing to listen, I will never compromise when it comes the Coastal Virginia values of decency, community, and service to country that we all hold dear.”

Luria is a former Navy commander who spent 20 years in the service and once led a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. She and her husband now own a small business where customers drink wine and paint plaster casts of mermaids, a regional icon.

National Democrats backed Luria. State Democrats, including Gov. Ralph Northam, had made some gains in the 2nd District in 2017. And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poured resources behind Luria in its quest to flip the district and retake the U.S. House.

Taylor is a former Navy SEAL who served as a sniper in Iraq. He worked as a security contractor in countries such as Yemen and more recently served as a state lawmaker.

Congressman Scott Taylor (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
Rep. Scott Taylor (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)

Taylor carried Virginia’s 2nd District by nearly 23 percentage points in 2016. But Democrats believe a victory is possible there. They point to antipathy toward President Trump and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s victory in the district in 2017.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.