VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — An upcoming election has a lot of eyes focused on who is running to fill Republican Jen Kiggans' seat in the Virginia Senate following her election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kevin Adams was officially named the Republican candidate in the special election for the 7th Senate District Thursday afternoon, while Aaron Rouse was named the Democratic candidate.
Adams, a retired U.S. Navy Lt. Commander turned small business owner, originally announced he planned to run for the 22nd District, which is set to take over the 7th District in 2023.
In an interview with 13News Now Thursday, Adams praised Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin's economic policies, while expressing support for law enforcement.
"We got to get this economic machine back on track and our governor has a fantastic plan to do that," Adams said. "We also want a safe community. We want to make sure the police officers know when they go out to do their job, that we support them."
Adams said if he were to win, he would work with candidates to support these goals in Richmond, saying, "I got to pick up that seat, so [Republicans] can get a majority in the General Assembly."
Following Adams' nomination, his campaign shared a statement outlining his vision, while suggesting that Rouse is an "anti-police activist."
"In Richmond, I will fight tirelessly on behalf of my fellow veterans, work to cut taxes on working families, and partner with law enforcement to keep our community safe," Adams wrote. "Now, the real work begins.”
Thursday was the deadline for those running to formally declare their candidacy with the Virginia Beach Republican and Democratic Committees, according to committee officials, just 48 hours after the special election was declared.
Committee officials have until Nov. 21 to file the paperwork with Youngkin's office.
However, Adams and Rouse aren't the only ones who have their eyes on the soon-to-be-open seat. Former Virginia Delegate, Cheryl Turpin, said she is still looking to run in the special election.
Turpin represented the 85th District in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2018 to 2020. In 2019, she ran against Kiggans for the 7th District Senate seat but narrowly lost.
A spokeswoman for Turpin's office said she is arguing against the tight deadline to declare candidacy to the Virginia Beach Democratic Committee.
"I believe the citizens have a right to participate in selecting their candidates and 48 hours notice is not fair for citizens to participate in the process where every vote matters; back door deals is not in the best interests of the citizens of this district," the spokesperson wrote.