VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Unofficial results are in for the Virginia 7th District Special Election -- and the projected winner is Aaron Rouse.
“It means a lot to me to know the community I grew up with has my back, and I have theirs, and I’m looking forward to serving them in Richmond," Rouse said Tuesday night.
Rouse, a Democratic Virginia Beach city councilmember and former NFL player, was facing off against Republican retired Navy Lt. Commander Kevin Adams for Jen Kiggans' old seat in the state Senate.
Kiggans, a Republican, had to give it up when she won the U.S. House of Representatives seat for Virginia's District 2, defeating Elaine Luria. She was sworn in as a congresswoman last week.
Abortion access, the economy, public safety, education, and military affairs were all hot topics in this race.
“I want to protect women’s reproductive healthcare. I want to make sure we build a thriving economy that works for everyone and our public education system. We have to support our teachers, our staff and our students," said Rouse.
About 50 of Virginia Beach's 110 precincts fall in this district, and voters from Norfolk's Azalea Gardens, Little Creek, and part of Tarrallton precincts were also eligible to vote.
The polls closed at 7 p.m., and 57 out of 59 precincts were in by around 9 p.m. Preliminary results showed Rouse winning by a small margin, 50.4% to 49.5%.
“This victory is not a victory for Aaron Rouse. It's a victory for Virginia," said Rouse.
Rouse took to social media, thanking his supporters.
"With your support, and the support of voters from across Virginia Beach and Norfolk, we have won this Special Election," he wrote.
The election results still have to be certified to become official. That process usually takes a few weeks.