As the divide between political parties increases, and the tensions of our current political climate become more dangerous, it is important now more than ever to participate and vote in local, state, and national elections. Next week on November 8, incumbent Elaine Luria or opponent Senator Jen Kiggans will be elected to serve in the 2nd congressional district seat of Virginia. Luria and Kiggans, both navy veterans, have faced each other in two debates through the month of October as they head towards these upcoming midterm elections.
The first debate took place in Virginia Beach, Virginia on October 12, 2022. Key issues like abortion rights and electional denial were center for the two women over the night. Luria, who is running for her 3rd term as representative, pointed fingers at her opponent, emphasizing how she refuses to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election, but simply refers to him as the “current resident” of the White House. Kiggans denies this, but doesn’t fail to note how she is not satisfied with how Biden runs the country, and pledges to improve the economy she believes Biden has destroyed thus far in his residency.
The support and admission of the validity of the election is a big question in many midterm election debates across the nation. After the January 6 incident, it is a big issue for voters whether or not their representatives and other candidates would respect the result of their state elections. As sad as it may be, as citizens we may no longer assume those who run for our elected offices would respect the choices of their citizens, but given recent events, we now need them to clarify.
Following the overturning of Roe v Wade, it’s no surprise that the topic of abortion rights needed to be discussed between the two candidates. Virginia state law currently allows abortion during the first and second trimesters, with some limits and exceptions during the third. Luria, who identifies as pro-choice on her campaign website, discussed how she supports codifying Roe at the federal level. Kiggans lists protecting the sanctity of life as one of her main issues on her site, and expresses how she thinks abortion rights is a state issue, but notes her belief in exceptions for rape, incest, and safety of the mother.
Now that Roe v Wade has been overturned, it’s imperative to know where candidates stand on women’s rights. Engaging in voting during all elections is important now, because issues such as these are now in the hands of your state government, and your representatives now have a direct hand on the personal rights of those and you around you. Other issues, such as transgender rights, Critical Race Theory in schools, and resolutions to the current political divide are also issues appearing in debates in many states across the nation. It’s imperative that we take action and research our candidates and choices for these elections, because these people are who will represent us and our core values! Take a stance and start a step in the right direction towards helping your government change.