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Virginians head to polls Tuesday to pick opponents for incumbents Luria, Scott

VWU Political Science Associate Professor Leslie Caughell said Republican voters are motivated "because they lost last time."

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginians head to the polls Tuesday for the mid-term Congressional primaries. The turnout is expected to be light.

The most hotly contested race locally is in the Second District, a seat occupied by two-term incumbent Democrat Elaine Luria.

Four Republicans are on the ballot, fighting for the right to face Luria in November.

Luria is finishing up her second term in Congress, where she serves as vice-chair of the House Armed Services Committee and is a member of both the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the House Select Committee To Investigate the January 6th Attack On The United States Capitol.

The four Republicans vying for the GOP nomination are Jen Kiggans, Jarome Bell, Andy Baan and L. Tommy Altman.

The general election winner will represent citizens of the newly re-drawn Second District, which no longer includes the traditionally Democrat-leaning City of Norfolk.

"This new district does not look as hospitable for a Democrat," said Virginia Wesleyan University Associate Professor of Political Science Leslie Caighell. "She went from winning by two points to her last election winning, I think, by six points. She was definitely making in-roads in her district."

Luria faces another obstacle: history.

Since World War II, the sitting president's party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House in the mid-term election.

Caughell said for Luria and other congressional Democrats, there is an inevitable enthusiasm gap among voters.

"If you're the party that won the last presidential election, you're probably more than likely a little disappointed because, in the American system, presidents can never do all they intend to do in the first two years when the other side is is incredibly motivated because they lost the last time," she said.

The other contested race in Hampton Roads is in the 3rd District. Republicans Ted Enquist and Terry Namkung are facing off to take on Democratic incumbent Bobby Scott in November.

Scott, who serves as Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, has served in Congress since 1993.  Prior to that, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983 and in the Senate of Virginia from 1983 to 1993.

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