SPOTLIGHT | VA-2

Taking on Scott Taylor

A new Democratic name has surfaced in Virginia’s 2nd District.

In this Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, photo, Virginia's 2nd District Congressman Scott Taylor speaks during an interview in his campaign office in Virginia Beach, Va. Taylor is among a cadre of former Navy SEALs who’ve recently ascended to major elected office.
AP Photo/Steve Helber
Nov. 17, 2017, 10:15 a.m.

Democrats appear to have a challenger to Rep. Scott Taylor, a Virginia Beach Republican who sounded the alarm on his own reelection as he publicly blamed President Trump‘s divisive rhetoric for the shellacking Republicans took in Virginia’s state elections.

DCCC Regional Vice Chairman Donald McEachin told Hotline the party will have a great candidate in Elaine Luria, a recently retired Naval commander who founded a local paint-your-own-mermaid studio with locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

McEachin, whose district borders Taylor’s, touted Luria’s two decades in the Navy—an asset in an area with the world’s largest Naval base. As an ex-Navy SEAL, Taylor has military credentials of his own and proved his mettle last year by winning a GOP primary against Rep. Randy Forbes, who jumped seats after court-ordered redistricting.

The new lines made the 2nd District, which covers Virginia’s Atlantic coastline, including the Eastern Shore, slightly more favorable to Republicans, but it is still a seat with swing potential, particularly after Norfolk-based Ralph Northam carried it by 4 points, per data crunched by Decision Desk.

It’s Democrats’ second-best pickup opportunity in the state, after Rep. Barbara Comstock‘s Northern Virginia seat, where nine Democrats are vying to take on the incumbent. The field in the 2nd will be thinner, as Virginia Beach Democratic Party Chairman Dave Belote just dropped out, and McEachin said state Sen. Lynwood Lewis has decided against a run.

Ally Mutnick

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