Aaron Rouse (D) and Kevin Adams (R) are running in the January 10, 2023, special general election for Virginia State Senate District 7. The special election was called after the previous incumbent, Sen. Jennifer Kiggans (R), resigned on November 15, 2022, after being elected to represent Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
Rouse, a former NFL player, has been an at-large member of the Virginia Beach City Council since 2018. Rouse said, “so much is at stake in this upcoming election, from a woman’s fundamental right to choose, which I will fiercely defend, to the efforts that will set us back on voting rights, to addressing climate change, protecting the Chesapeake Bay and waterways, to criminal justice reform.” Rouse listed education as his top priority, including raising teacher salaries and expanding access to preschool. Rouse also listed the economy, healthcare, and public safety as priorities.
Adams is a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander who founded and operated a handyman business. Adams said he will “continue working to pass Governor Glenn Youngkin’s pro-veteran agenda, cut taxes, ease regulations, keep our communities safe, and make it easier for small business owners like me to get started and stay in business.” Adams’ platform includes working to improve education and workforce training, supporting veterans, lowering gas, grocery, and sales taxes, and growing “school funding while shrinking the power of left-wing idealogues.”
New state legislative maps will take effect on January 11, 2023, at the start of the new legislative session. However, this special election will take place under previous district lines. Click here to compare Virginia State Senate Districts before and after the 2020 redistricting cycle.
Democrats currently have a 21-18 majority in the state Senate (with the District 7 vacancy). According to Daily Kos’ David Nir, District 7 “has been very swingy: In 2019, Kiggans won it by less than one point, while Joe Biden carried it by 10 points the following year, only to see Youngkin prevail by 4 points in 2021.”