Democrat Aaron Rouse has declared victory in a special state Senate election against GOP candidate Kevin Adams, flipping the seat formerly held by Republican Jen Kiggans, reports WAVY.
By a razor-thin margin of just 348 votes, Rouse was ahead on all precincts reporting. In total, he received 19,430 votes to Adams’ 19,082, according to the latest figures.
Rouse took to social media to celebrate his hard-fought win.
“THANK YOU! With your support, and the support of voters from across Virginia Beach and Norfolk, we have won this Special Election. No rest for the weary—tomorrow, we head to Richmond to get to work for Virginia families,” his tweet read.
After falling being with in-person votes, Rouse dominated when early absentee votes were calculated at a rate of 4 to 1.
Addressing his supporters on Tuesday, he thanked everyone for their unwavering support of his candidacy.
“I’m just so excited that Virginia Beach has my back and I have there’s all the way to Richmond,” Rouse said in his victory speech. “I’m a native here. I grew up in a place where I had a chance to come home and serve on a local governing body. Do good things and [voters] remember that.”
On Wednesday, Adams released a statement where he conceded to Rouse.
“While the results last night were not what we wanted, I am proud of the campaign that we ran and so thankful for everyone who believed in me and this campaign along the way,” Adams said. “We put everything we had into this race and left no stone unturned. Sheila and I congratulate Senator-elect Aaron Rouse. Despite the result, I will never stop serving Hampton Roads.”
Because of Rouse’s victory, Democrats now have a 22-18 advantage in the Senate, which would prevent Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed 15-week abortion ban from passing in the General Assembly in 2023.
Women’s reproductive rights, public education and the economy were hot topics throughout the campaign, and Rouse is committed to fighting for them when he takes office in the state capital of Richmond.
“1-2-3, 1, we are going to protect a woman’s right to choose health care, we are going to build an economy that works for everyone, and we are going to support our public education system making sure our teachers and staff have a salary they can be proud of,” Rouse said.
Prior to his election to the state senate, Rouse was elected to the Virginia Council as an at-large member in November 2018, according to his biography.
Born and raised in Virginia Beach, he’s a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. In 2007, Rouse was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and played for the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals in his NFL career.
He also played for the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League for the 2010 season and the Virginia Destroyers for the 2011 season before he retired.
In a few weeks, the election results will be offcially certified by the Virginia Department of Elections.