NORFOLK, Va. — With less than three months before Election Day, the candidates in Virginia's 2nd Congressional District are making their voices heard over the airwaves in a race that could decide which party controls the House of Representatives.
State Sen. Jen Kiggans, a Republican, is challenging Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria as she runs for a third term in the House. The Cook Political Report predicts the election will be a tossup.
This week, Kiggans and a super PAC affiliated with Republican leaders in the House debuted TV ads targeting Luria, who has already released several ads in this race.
The ads released so far show the issues that each candidate sees as winning ahead of the November election.
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Kiggans' ad, entitled "Restoring American Strength in Our Economy," is centered around the issue of inflation, claiming the policies that Luria supports are responsible for rising gas and food costs.
The ad was released Thursday, the first one of hers in the general election campaign, coming several weeks after Luria released her third ad.
"Nowadays, from food to fuel — everything costs more," Kiggans said in the ad.
"But how did we get here? Elaine Luria and Joe Biden have spent trillions of dollars, leaving us with the highest inflation in 40 years."
In the ad, Kiggans is seen running errands, such as grocery shopping and filling up her gas tank, to get her point across.
The other ad, released on Wednesday by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House Republican leadership, also tried to tie Luria to Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"You'd have to be pretty out of touch to praise the economy, but that's just what Elaine Luria did," the voiceover in Kiggans' ad said.
"While you're struggling, Luria is spewing liberal talking points, making excuses for Biden and Pelosi."
The group said in a news release it spent $395,000 on the ad buy in Virginia's 2nd District.
The Republicans' ads have a different presentation from Luria's ads, two of which highlighted her participation in the committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Luria's first ad, entitled "Oath", connects her work in Congress to the oath to the Constitution she took upon joining the Navy. It was released on July 5.
"More Horrific," which came out on July 26, shows Republican elected officials and conservative media commentators downplaying the Jan. 6 attack, which was contrasted with footage of what happened that day.
The most recent ad, "When," shifted the topic to the issue of abortion, following the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade that protected abortion rights across the country. It came out on Aug. 4.
"When millions of women lost their right to choose, Kiggans celebrated, because she wants to make abortion illegal and allow politicians to ban abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother," the voiceover in Luria's ad said.
On Aug. 6, the campaign relaunched a previous ad highlighting her efforts to fix a loophole that raised taxes on the children of fallen soldiers.
In response to the ads from Kiggans and the Congressional Leadership Fund, Luria campaign spokesperson Jayce Genco shared a statement with 13News Now criticizing Kiggans for her anti-abortion views:
“No amount of money dumped on the airwaves by Jen Kiggans and her special interest backers will be able to paper over her dangerous record of letting the government ban abortion. Congresswoman Luria will continue to tell her story of expanding health care for our veterans, lowering prescription drug costs, and protecting the right to choose.”