Luria makes a Final Case to Support Democracy, Vies for Black Voters
Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria is spending the last day of her campaign in new areas in Virginia district to garner the backing of Black residents, whose vote could determine whether she is elected to another term.
In the final weeks of the campaign Rep. Elaine Luria was seated on a wooden deck in the far reaches of her district that she had just drawn with a microphone in her hand with a 7-year-old Black girl by her side as she made her final argument about the issues that lie ahead during the midterm election.
The Virginia Democrat quoted Cummings’s former Rep. Elijah Cummings, directed her gaze at the little girl and declared: “Our children are a way to see the future we’ll never be able to see.” The the future Luria said, could appear more grim in the event that her Republican opponent is elected to one of the more hotly contested House races in the nation.
In her two previous congressional elections, Luria, a former Navy commander, would most likely be seen in settings that had a military background or theme. However, this time she’s located in Suffolk the new region of her district which has an Black populace of 40%, whose votes will determine if she is elected to the third term.
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“If Luria is going to be a winner she has to gain the support of Black voter,” said Rebecca Bromley-Trujillo researcher for the Wason Center at Christopher Newport University. “Even when we conduct our polls we’ve found that Black voters tend to be more likely to say they’re not sure than white voters which indicates that there’s a vulnerability in the market for Luria and the need to make contact.”
Luria has seen an increase in image in the last year due to her role in the House committee that is investigating the fatal the Jan. 6th, 2021 rebellion on the U.S. Capitol. There is no evidence that it has helped her politically and it could have affected her popularity.
However, she describes this race as a test of the democratic process itself. This is a nation-over-party appeal which is being tested within a region with one of the largest concentrations of families that have military connections.
“This is about so much more than the Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. It’s certainly about much more than just getting Elaine Luria reelected,” she said to a majority Black crowd of supporters on Sunday. “It is really concerning the future direction for our nation and the direction that we will take. It’s about our democracy.”
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Recent polling by Wason Center Wason Center showed that Luria and her rival, Jen Kiggans, a state senator both are close at 45% with likely voters, while 8% are undecided. Kiggans did not want to be interviewed in this report.
“Suffolk is the most important factor to winning the race and holding the seat in question,” Luria said in her final remarks. “And the seat in question is key to being the largest of the House of Representatives.”
It is worth noting that the 2nd Congressional District ranks No. 217 on the Cook Political Research’s party vote index, which makes it the median among those with the highest percentage of Republican and most Democratic House seats across the country — and, in effect, the nation’s most swinging district.
The district that first was elected by Luria in the year 2018 it was recently redrawn to become more Republican. Donald Trump, a Republican was a strong supporter of it during his 2016 presidential campaign In the year 2020 Joe Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 to win Virginia Beach, part of the district.
Luria’s moderate character and track experience would be a good fit for the district, however Kiggans has focused on economic issues, and has tried to tie Luria to Biden as well, both appeal to a wide segment of the electorate for the first time.
“The year following redistricting always exciting, and sometimes difficult, as you sometimes have to reconnect with new voters, or to a brand new group of voters,” said Susan Swecker who is the chairperson of the Virginia Democratic Party.
This is the kind of thing Luria was doing over the last year, with 40 percent of voters new to the district, which includes those in Suffolk who have problems that differ from the other parts of. In the 2nd District located in the southeastern region of Virginia continues to encompass Virginia Beach and stretches across to the Eastern Shore into Suffolk, Isle of Wight and other locales.
Luria’s campaign has refined its message to emphasize accessibility to abortion, veterans and military issues and the continuing danger for American democracy. She’s cited her participation in the committee’s Jan. 6 , committee to be “the most significant thing” she’s ever accomplished professionally. This includes for more than two decades in the Navy including as an officer in the surface warfare field with nuclear training who commanded 400 crewmembers across the Persian Gulf.
“People have told me”Elaine, you’re basically one of the few Democrat in an Republican district in this committee. What’s that will mean? If you return to your home country, it’s likely that this will not be the most popular thing to do in the future,'” Luria told volunteers at an event on Oct. 29. “And I told them it isn’t a problem. It’s the right way to go.”
“And should that mean that I don’t get reelected” she said, “that’s OK. Because I’m on the right side of the record.”
Luria has mentioned her oath of service as one of the reasons she was chosen to serve on the committee. This is an appeal that has brought her in contact with a section which is home to a majority of veterans, active-duty military and people who work in nearby shipyards.
However, as per the Wason Center polling, voters claimed that economic issues were the main driver behind their decisions in the election almost 40% of them stating that it was the most important issue and followed by abortion at 17%, and threats to democracy with 14 percent.
Luria’s rival, Kiggans, also a Navy veteran, has announced the race will not be settled on January. 6-based committee.
“I haven’t had any voter, or someone (whose) doors I’ve knocked on or visited a civic group or an event I’ve attended. I’ve never seen a single person approach me and tell me that this is the problem they’re focusing on,” Kiggans. “On an almost daily basis I’m told often about the price of gas, grocery costs and shortages of groceries and the amount it is costing them.”
However, for many Black residents in this district, it is clear that the question of economics isn’t the most important issue to be on their ballot.
“We know that the economy will continue to be a flurry of change. However, when we begin to deal the issue of women’s rights being violated and rights, we go back to the question of civil rights,” explained Ebony Wright who is a Navy Veteran who is also a Black residents of Suffolk. “And that’s why when we begin slowing down, it’s terrifying. Then we contemplate what’s to come the next step.” She also said she would be voting for Luria.
The neighbor of her Selena Thornton, who is also a Black veteran, explained that the history and reality of the Suffolk region, which is miles from the place where it was that the Nat Turner slave rebellion took place in 1831 and in close proximity to sundown regions, continually remind her that she’s not as far from her ancestors, as some may think. This is the reason why Luria is also the one she chooses.
“If you’re looking to learn about how to get the Black vote, is right there It’s going to be a fear of going backwards rather than forwards,” Wright said.