Jennifer A. Kiggans is an American politician and nurse practitioner serving in the Virginia Senate. A Republican, she was first elected in 2019 and represents parts of the cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Kiggans is a former United States Navy helicopter pilot. She is running to represent Virginia’s 2nd congressional district in the 2022 election.

Early life and career

Kiggans was born in Tampa, Florida, but graduated from high school in Orlando, Florida.[1] As a high school student, she worked in Walt Disney World.[2] In 1993 and 1994. She taught English in Japan through the JET Programme.[3] She also lived in Japan as a Navy spouse for five years.[2]

Kiggans was a United States Navy pilot for ten years, flying H-46 and H-3 helicopters.[4]

After serving in the military, Kiggans attended nursing school at Old Dominion University and Vanderbilt University. She is currently an adult geriatric nurse practitioner at Eastern Virginia Medical School and in private practice.[5]

Political career

In 2019, Kiggans ran for the Virginia Senate for the 7th district, which was being vacated by Republican incumbent Frank Wagner. In the Republican Party primary Kiggans defeated Virginia Beach School Board member Carolyn Weems by a margin of 52% to 48%.[6]

In the general election, Kiggans faced Democratic state delegate Cheryl Turpin. The race was viewed as competitive, as the district had very narrowly favored Democrats in recent statewide elections.[7][8] Kiggans and Turpin each spent over $500,000 on television advertisements.[9] Kiggans won 50.4% to 49.5%.[10]

Kiggans has announced her intention to seek the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 2nd congressional district in the 2022 election.[11]

Abortion

Kiggans opposes abortion in all circumstances,[12] and has declared that she is “100%, unapologetically pro-life.”[13] When asked by the Washington Post about how she would vote on federal legislation to codify same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, and contraception, Kiggans did not provide any answer.[14] On the August 2nd episode of the John Fredericks Radio Show, she stated “In Virginia…we are fighting a group of Democrats and leftist-liberals who want to promote infanticide.”[15]

Gay marriage ban

On February 14, 2022, Kiggans voted against overturning Virginia’s unconstitutional ban on gay marriage.[16]

Transgender athletes ban

On January 21, 2022, Kiggans introduced a bill in the Virginia Senate that would ban transgender girls from playing girls sports.[17]

Personal life

Kiggans is a lifelong Catholic. She is married to Steve Kiggans, a retired Navy F-18 pilot. They have four children.[2]

Kiggans is friends with state senator Ghazala Hashmi (D-Richmond). They were the only two senators first elected in 2019 who did not previously serve in the Virginia House of Delegates.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b Vozzella, Laura (December 27, 2019). “Virginia Senate gains two political outsiders and friends”. The Washington Post. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Hall, Matt (November 3, 2019). “Interview: Veteran Jen Kiggans Runs for 7th State Senate District”. Bearing Drift. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  3. ^ “Jennifer Kiggans’ Biography”. Vote Smart. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Lynn (April 1, 2019). “Veteran Navy Pilot Jen Kiggans Enters Race for 7th Senate District”. Bearing Drift. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Albiges, Marie (June 3, 2020). “School board member, Navy pilot face off in Virginia Beach Senate GOP primary”. The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  6. ^ “2019 Senate of Virginia Republican Primary – District 7”. Virginia State Board of Elections. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  7. ^ Oliver, Ned (September 4, 2019). “Cheat sheet: The House and Senate races most likely to decide control of Virginia’s statehouse”. Virginia Mercury. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  8. ^ “Open Seat Profile – SD7”. Virginia Public Access Project. October 17, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  9. ^ O’Keefe, Jimmy (October 24, 2019). “Va. Senate Candidates Ramp Up Attack Ads Ahead Of Election Day”. WHSV-TV. Capital News Service. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  10. ^ “2019 November General – Member Senate of Virginia (007)”. Virginia State Board of Elections. November 10, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  11. ^ Flynn, Meagan (April 12, 2021). “GOP state senator seeks to challenge Luria for Virginia congressional seat”. Washington Post.
  12. ^ “Luria, Kiggans react to Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade”. 13newsnow. June 24, 2022. Retrieved 2022-08-07.
  13. ^ Reports, Staff (2022-06-07). “Jen Kiggans”. The Suffolk News-Herald. Retrieved 2022-08-07.
  14. ^ Flynn, Meagan (July 29, 2022). “On abortion, Dems start Virginia offensive as GOP renews old attacks”. The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Walsh, Joan (2019-12-03). “Republican Attacks on Abortion Don’t Send Democrats Running Scared Anymore”. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved 2022-08-08.
  16. ^ “LIS > Bill Tracking > > 2022 session”. lis.virginia.gov. Retrieved 2022-08-08.
  17. ^ “Bill Tracking – 2022 session > Legislation”. lis.virginia.gov. Retrieved 2022-08-08.

External links