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What's next for Jen Kiggans' vacant state Senate seat?

State Sen. Jen Kiggans will soon represent Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. So what will become of her vacant seat in the General Assembly?

NORFOLK, Va. — As Virginia Sen. Jen Kiggans gets ready to fill the role of Virginia's 2nd Congressional District in January, she is set to leave behind an empty seat for an entire 2023 year in the state Senate.

This calls for a special election to fill the remainder of her term.

But for 2023, Old Dominion University Political Science Professor Jesse Richman said it gets complicated with Virginia's redistricting. 

"It's a kind of interesting wrinkle because of the redistricting," said Richman.

Currently, Kiggans' Senate seat is for the 7th District, which represents part of Norfolk and part of Virginia Beach. Because of redistricting in Virginia, the 7th District will become the new 22nd District in the 2023 race.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Elections said the electoral board is treating the special election, once it is ordered, as the 7th District.

"It sounds like the way they're going to treat this is that the special election to replace the representative of the old 7th District will be the special election in the new 22nd District, so we're moving to the new district boundaries," Richman explained.

However, Richman said candidates for the new 22nd District could still throw their name in the special election ring, since it's still considered in the Virginia Beach area. 

Virginia Beach Councilman Aaron Rouse announced earlier in 2022 he was running for the 22nd State Senate seat. Retired Navy Lt. Commander Kevin Adams also threw his hat in the ring for the 2023 race. 

The Virginia Public Access Project lists Rouse as a candidate for the special election against Adams. 

13News Now asked Rouse's campaign manager if he is running for the special election, but he could not confirm. His manager said they expect to announce more information on Rouse's campaign goals in the coming days. 

Election workers have to finalize the votes by this Tuesday before Kiggans can officially resign from her position on the state Senate. That's when election leaders can order a special election to fill the remainder of her term.

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