Elaine Goodman Luria (/ˈlʊriə/; LUUR-ee-ə; born August 15, 1975) is an American politician and US Navy veteran serving as the U.S. representative from Virginia’s 2nd congressional district since 2019. Luria’s congressional district includes most of Hampton Roads, including all of Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Poquoson and parts of Norfolk and Hampton. Before running for Congress, she served as a naval officer for 20 years. Luria rose to the rank of commander and spent most of her career aboard ship. She defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor in 2018 and was reelected in a rematch against Taylor in 2020.

Early life, education, and military service

Luria was born on August 15, 1975, in Birmingham, Alabama.[1][2] Her mother Michelle’s family immigrated to Jasper, Alabama, in 1906.[3] The family sold goods to coal miners in Walker County, Alabama.[3] In the early-1900s, Luria’s great-grandfather helped establish a Reform Jewish congregation in Jasper, and her immediate family joined the Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham.[3] Luria’s mother and grandmother were active in the National Council of Jewish Women (of which her mother was president), Hadassah, the Temple Emanu-El Sisterhood, and the Birmingham Jewish Federation.[3]

Luria graduated from Indian Springs School in 1993.[4][5] She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science (BS), with a double major in physics and history and a minor in French.[6] In 2000, Luria attended the United States Naval Nuclear Power School.[7] While serving in the Navy and stationed aboard the flagship USS Blue Ridge, she earned a Master of Science (MS) degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University in 2004.[8]

Luria served as a naval officer for 20 years, operating nuclear reactors as an engineer, where she rose to the rank of commander.[9] Luria was among the first female American sailors to spend her entire career on combat ships.[10] She commanded Assault Craft Unit TWO, a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors, from 2014 until her retirement in 2017.[11] She held a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier after 9/11.[12]

As of 2019, Luria’s service was the longest active-duty tenure of any current member of the House Democratic Caucus.[13]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2018

Luria ran for the United States House of Representatives in Virginia’s 2nd congressional district.[14] In the June 10 Democratic primary, she garnered 62% of the vote, defeating Karen Mallard, who received 38%.[15]

In the general election, Luria defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor with 51% of the vote to Taylor’s 49%.[16] She carried six of the district’s nine county-level jurisdictions, including all but one of the district’s five independent cities. She also carried Taylor’s hometown of Virginia Beach.[17]

2020

Luria ran for reelection.[18] She defeated Taylor in a rematch with 51% of the vote. As in 2018, Luria carried six of the district’s nine county-level jurisdictions, including all but one independent city. She was likely helped by Joe Biden carrying the district;[19] notably, Biden carried Virginia Beach, the first Democrat to do so since 1964.[20]

2022

Luria is running for reelection in 2022. Facing a difficult path to victory as a Democrat in a competitive district, she has focused her campaign on defense policy and refrained from highlighting Biden’s $1.5 trillion Build Back Better spending plan, for which she voted.[21]

Tenure

Luria was sworn in on January 3, 2019.[22] She was one of 102 female members elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2018, a record number.[22] She joined two other female veterans in that class, fellow Naval Academy graduate Mikie Sherrill and former Air Force officer Chrissy Houlahan.

Virginia’s 2nd congressional district is centered on Hampton Roads.[23] It includes all of Poquoson, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg cities and York County in Hampton Roads; parts of Norfolk and Hampton cities and James City County in Hampton Roads; and all of Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore.[24]

On Veterans Day 2019, Luria released a video announcing her support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, which The Washington Post called “an unusual move for a moderate on the cusp of a tough reelection.”[6]

During Trump’s presidency, Luria voted in line with his stated position 11% of the time.[25] As of June 2022 she had voted in line with Joe Biden‘s stated position 98.2% of the time.[26]

Investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol

Luria was one of the original members appointed to the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol in 2021.[27] She and Representative Adam Kinzinger co-led the eighth public hearing in July 2022. This hearing focused on Trump’s inaction during the 187 minutes from the end of his speech to his Rose Garden speech, where he told the rioters, “We love you, you’re very special”. Luria introduced the full video of both speeches.[28] She also showed outtakes from Trump’s January 7, 2021, statement titled “Remarks on National Healing”.[29] Luria said of these remarks that this “was not the message of condemnation and just punishment for those who broke the law that we expect from a president whose oath and duty is to ensure the laws are faithfully executed. But instead, It was his newest version of ‘Stand Back and Stand By’.” In her closing statement, she said, “This is not, as it may appear, a story of inaction in a time of crisis, but instead it was the final action of Donald Trump’s own plan to assert the will of the American people and remain in power. Not until it was clear that his effort to violently disrupt or delay the counting of the election results had failed did he send his message—a message to his supporters in which he commiserated with their pain and he told them affectionately to go home.”[30]

On July 25, 2022, Luria posted on her Twitter account the original script of Trump’s January 7 remarks and edits he made to it in which he had crossed out any references to DOJ action and condemnation was heavily toned down.[31]

Political positions

Domestic policy

While the federal government was in a partial shutdown, Luria said that she had asked for her salary to be withheld until federal workers were paid in January 2019.[22] She participated in a bipartisan group of representatives seeking to broker a compromise to end the shutdown.[32][33]

In February 2019, Luria introduced the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, which increased the cost of living adjustments (COLAs) made to veterans.[34] It earned bipartisan support and passed in September 2019.[13]

Foreign policy

Luria is a self-described “unabashed supporter” of the U.S. relationship with Israel.[35][36] She was the lone Democrat to vote against repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 in 2021.[37]

Immigration

Luria was listed as one of 60 House Democrats who expressed support for some kind of border wall in January 2019.[38]

Impeachment

In September 2019, Luria labeled herself a “security Democrat”—an idiom for freshman Democrats with national security experience[39]—and called for an impeachment inquiry against Trump in a Washington Post op-ed.[40] In an October 2019 town hall meeting in Virginia Beach, Luria charged that Trump had “Enlist[ed] the help of a foreign leader to influence and malign a potential political opponent to affect the outcome of our next election all under [the] guise of trying to fight corruption.”[41] Later in October 2019, Luria formally voted for an impeachment inquiry against Trump,[42] and joined all but three House Democrats to vote for impeachment on both counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019;[43] all House Republicans voted no on both charges.[43]

Environment

Luria accepts the scientific consensus on climate change and is concerned about the physical impacts of climate change on global instability and military readiness. She also believes the Trump administration attempted to discredit military and scientific experts on the physical impacts of climate change, which she views as an aspersion to the national security and scientific apparatuses.[44]

Stock trades

Luria opposes proposed legislation that would ban lawmakers from trading stocks, calling the efforts “bullshit”.[45]

Gun policy

Luria favors instituting red flag laws and universal background checks on all gun purchases.[46]

In 2022, Luria voted for H.R. 1808: Assault Weapons Ban of 2022.[47][48]

Corporate donations

In her 2018 campaign, Luria pledged not to accept donations from political action committees (PACs). She was consequently endorsed by End Citizens United, a group that seeks to reform campaign finance laws and reduce the role of corporate money in politics. In 2020, Luria accepted $34,000 in corporate PAC contributions from the PACs of a tobacco company and defense contractors, among others.[49] PolitiFact rated Luria’s decision to accept corporate PAC funding a “Full Flop.” End Citizens United expressed disappointment in Luria’s reversal.[50]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Virginia’s 2nd congressional district Democratic primary results, 2018[56]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Elaine Luria 17,552 62.3
DemocraticKaren Mallard10,61037.7
Total votes28,162 100.0
Virginia’s 2nd congressional district general election results, 2018[57]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Elaine Luria 139,571 51.1
RepublicanScott Taylor (incumbent)133,45848.8
N/AWrite-ins3710.1
Total votes273,400 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
Virginia’s 2nd congressional district general election results, 2020[58]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Democratic Elaine Luria (incumbent) 185,733 51.6
RepublicanScott Taylor165,03145.8
IndependentDavid Foster9,1702.5
N/AWrite-ins3430.1
Total votes360,277 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life

Luria’s husband, Robert Blondin, is also a retired naval commander and spent 27 years in the service.[11] Luria has two stepchildren and a daughter born in 2009.[59] They reside in Norfolk,[60] and she gave the commencement speech in May 2019 at Virginia Wesleyan University.[60] Luria attends Ohef Sholom Temple, a Reform Jewish synagogue in Norfolk.[61]

See also

References

  1. ^ “Elaine Luria”. Archives of Women’s Political Communication. Archived from the original on April 8, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  2. ^ “Another way to serve: After 20 years in the Navy, Elaine Luria running for Congress”. Southern Jewish Life. March 7, 2018. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Fractenberg, Ben (October 3, 2018). “Navy Vet Represents Wave Of Female Jewish Candidates”. The Forward. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  4. ^ “Notable Alumni”. Indian Springs School: Notable Alumni. Retrieved June 10, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Schneider, Gregory S. (November 5, 2018). “Democrats Wexton, Luria and Spanberger unseat Republicans Comstock, Taylor and Brat, while Kaine cruises in Virginia”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Portnoy, Jenna (November 21, 2019). “How Rep. Elaine Luria’s faith inspired her to speak out on Israel, impeachment”. Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  7. ^ “Elaine Luria; (1975 – )”. Jewish Virtual Library. Archived from the original on April 11, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Minium, Harry (November 7, 2018). “ODU Graduate Elaine Luria Wins Tight Election for Seat in U.S. Congress”. Old Dominion University. Archived from the original on September 1, 2020. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  9. ^ Brueck, Hilary; Kotecki, Peter (January 3, 2019). “The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist. Here’s the full list”. Business Insider. Archived from the original on May 9, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  10. ^ Winer, Stuart (November 3, 2018). “Meet the Jewish military veterans running for Congress”. The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on January 17, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  11. ^ a b “For Elaine Luria, it’s ships to mermaids”. Jewish News. April 28, 2017. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Frackenberg, Ben (October 3, 2018). “Navy Vet Represents Fresh Wave Of Jewish Women Running For Congress”. The Forward. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Boykin, Nick (October 1, 2019). “Rep. Luria’s bipartisan bill becomes law after being signed by President Trump”. WTKR. Archived from the original on October 29, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  14. ^ Bartel, Bill (January 8, 2018). “Mermaid Factory owner, retired Navy officer to take on Rep. Scott Taylor in election”. The Virginian-Pilot. Archived from the original on November 8, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  15. ^ “In US House Race, Former Naval Commander Targets Former SEAL”. WBOC-TV. May 24, 2018. Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  16. ^ Brufke, Juliegrace (November 6, 2018). “Dem Elaine Luria defeats GOP’s Scott Taylor in Virginia”. The Hill. Archived from the original on November 26, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  17. ^ “Virginia House results from 2018”. CNN. Archived from the original on November 9, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  18. ^ Bravender, Robin (January 27, 2018). “Va. has 5 U.S. House rookies. Here’s how they spent their first year”. The Virginia Mercury. Archived from the original on November 4, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  19. ^ Virginia presidential results by congressional district from Virginia Department of Elections
  20. ^ Oliver, Ned (November 5, 2020). “Chesterfield and Lynchburg hadn’t backed a Democrat for president since 1948. Biden changed that”. The Virginia Mercury. Retrieved December 13, 2020. Virginia Beach, which Democrats last won in 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson was on the ballot
  21. ^ Collins, Eliza (December 1, 2021). “Virginia Democrat in Tight District Pushes Defense Policy, Not Biden’s $2 Trillion Build Back Better”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  22. ^ a b c Albiges, Marie (January 3, 2019). “Virginia’s Elaine Luria sworn in as Democrats take over House”. Daily Press. Archived from the original on February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  23. ^ “District Profile – US House of Representatives District 2”. Virginia Public Access Project. April 22, 2020. Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  24. ^ “Redistricting – US House of Representatives District 2”. Virginia Public Access Project. April 22, 2020. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  25. ^ “Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump”. FiveThirtyEight. January 30, 2017. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  26. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). “Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?”. FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  27. ^ “Pelosi Names Members to Select Committee to Investigate January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol”. July 1, 2021. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  28. ^ “Rep. Luria Shows Video of Pres. Trump Recording Jan 6th Rose Garden Message | C-SPAN.org”. www.c-span.org.
  29. ^ “Trump’s outtakes from Jan. 7 speech shown by committee”. YouTube.
  30. ^ “Here’s every word from the 8th Jan. 6 committee on its investigation”. NPR. July 22, 2022.
  31. ^ Grisales, Claudia (July 25, 2022). “New evidence shows Trump toned down his condemnation of the deadly Capitol attack”. NPR.
  32. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (January 23, 2019). “Rep. Luria, Virginia Democrat, urges Pelosi to offer Trump a vote on border security funding”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  33. ^ Everett, Burgess; Bade, Rachael (January 22, 2019). “Congress agitates to end relentless shutdown”. Politico. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  34. ^ “Summary: H.R.1200 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019”. United States Congress. February 13, 2019. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  35. ^ Samuels, Ben (March 31, 2021). “Meet the Democrat Aiming to Be Israel’s Biggest Champion in Congress”. Haaretz.
  36. ^ Kornbluh, Jacob (September 21, 2020). “With Lowey and Engel departing, Elaine Luria says she’ll be stepping up”. Jewish Insider.
  37. ^ Freking, Kevin (June 16, 2021). “House votes to repeal 2002 Iraq War authorization”. AP News.
  38. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (January 23, 2019). “Rep. Luria, Virginia Democrat, urges Pelosi to offer Trump a vote on border security funding”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 18, 2020. Retrieved October 2, 2020. Luria, who represents a military-heavy district including Virginia Beach, said she would be open to a menu of border security options, including a ‘physical barrier’ of some type.
  39. ^ Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (September 28, 2019). “How the Security Democrats Came Around to Impeachment”. The New Yorker. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  40. ^ Crow, Jason; Cisneros, Gil; Houlahan, Chrissy; Luria, Elaine; Mikie, Sherrill; Slotkin, Elissa; Spanberger, Abigail (September 23, 2019). “Seven freshman Democrats: These allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  41. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (October 4, 2019). “The story of a Virginia swing district town hall: From cheers to jeers”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 15, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  42. ^ “Summary: H.Res.660 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)”. United States Congress. October 29, 2019. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  43. ^ a b “Summary: H.Res.755 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)”. United States Congress. December 10, 2019. Archived from the original on December 19, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  44. ^ McCue, Dan (May 3, 2019). “Citing Threats to National Security, Representative Elaine Luria, Va.-2, Takes Climate Change Head On”. The WELL. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  45. ^ “Rep. Elaine Luria slams proposals to ban stock trading by lawmakers: ‘This whole concept is bullshit’. Business Insider.
  46. ^ Ress, Dave (October 1, 2019). “Elaine Luria visits Yorktown, saying nary a word about impeachment — but showing off her push-up skills”. Daily Press. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  47. ^ “House passes assault-style weapons ban | CNN Politics”. CNN. July 29, 2022.
  48. ^ “H.R. 1808: Assault Weapons Ban of 2022 — House Vote #410 — Jul 29, 2022”.
  49. ^ Ackley, Kate (February 1, 2021). “Elaine Luria pays off campaign debt using corporate PAC money she said she’d reject”. Roll Call. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  50. ^ Fiske, Warren (February 5, 2021). “Elaine Luria flips on pledge to refuse corporate PAC money”. @politifact. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  51. ^ a b c “Congresswoman Elaine Luria Announces Committee Assignments for 117th Congress”. Congresswoman Elaine Luria. February 16, 2021. Archived from the original on February 16, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  52. ^ “Congresswoman Elaine Luria Joins House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs”. Congresswoman Elaine Luria. January 17, 2019. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  53. ^ “Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Lead Veterans’ Subcommittee”. Congresswoman Elaine Luria. January 31, 2019. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  54. ^ “Members”. New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  55. ^ “Featured Members”. Problem Solvers Caucus. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  56. ^ “2018 June Democratic Primary”. Virginia Department of Elections. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  57. ^ “Official Results: 2018 November General Election”. Virginia Department of Elections. November 9, 2018. Archived from the original on November 8, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  58. ^ “2020 November General Official Results”. Virginia Department of Elections. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  59. ^ Bartel, Bill (November 3, 2018). “Elaine Luria and Scott Taylor are locked in a close race. Here’s where they stand on key issues”. The Virginian-Pilot. Archived from the original on September 24, 2019. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  60. ^ a b “Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Deliver 2019 Commencement Address”. Virginia Wesleyan University. April 8, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019. A resident of Norfolk, she graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received a master’s in engineering management from Old Dominion University.
  61. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (November 21, 2018). “How Rep. Elaine Luria’s faith inspired her to speak out on Israel, impeachment”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia’s 2nd congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by

United States representatives by seniority
321st
Succeeded by