Elaine Luria facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd district
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Scott Taylor|
Elaine Goodman Luria
August 15, 1975
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Education||United States Naval Academy (BS)
Old Dominion University (MS)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1997–2017|
|Commands||Assault Craft Unit TWO|
Elaine Goodman Luria (//; luur-EE-ə; born August 15, 1975) is an American politician and US Navy veteran serving as the U.S. representative from VA'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, before losing her bid for a third term to Republican Jen Kiggans in 2022.
Early life, education, and military service
Luria was born on August 15, 1975, in Birmingham, Alabama. Her mother Michelle's family immigrated to Jasper, Alabama, in 1906. The family sold goods to coal miners in Walker County, Alabama. 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. 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.
Luria graduated from Indian Springs School in 1993. 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. In 2000, Luria attended the United States Naval Nuclear Power School. 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.
Luria served as a naval officer for 20 years, operating nuclear reactors as an engineer, where she rose to the rank of commander. Luria was among the first female American sailors to spend her entire career on combat ships. She commanded Assault Craft Unit TWO, a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors, from 2014 until her retirement in 2017. She held a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier after 9/11.
As of 2019, Luria's service was the longest active-duty tenure of any current member of the House Democratic Caucus.
U.S. House of Representatives
Luria ran for the United States House of Representatives in VA's 2nd congressional district. In the June 10 Democratic primary, she garnered 62% of the vote, defeating Karen Mallard, who received 38%.
In the general election, Luria defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor with 51% of the vote to Taylor's 49%. 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.
Luria ran for reelection. 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; notably, Biden carried Virginia Beach, the first Democrat to do so since 1964.
Luria ran for reelection in 2022. Facing a difficult path to victory as a Democrat in a competitive district, she focused her campaign on defense policy and refrained from highlighting Biden's $1.5 trillion Build Back Better spending plan, for which she voted. Luria lost the election to Jen Kiggans.
Luria was sworn in on January 3, 2019. She was one of 102 female members elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2018, a record number. 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. 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.
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."
During Trump's presidency, Luria voted in line with his stated position 11% of the time. As of June 2022 she had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 98.2% of the time.
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. 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. She also showed outtakes from Trump's January 7, 2021, statement titled "Remarks on National Healing". 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."
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.
- Committee on Armed Services (vice chair)
- Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
- Subcommittee on Readiness
- Committee on Veterans' Affairs
- Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (chair)
- Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
- Committee on Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security
- Select Committee on the January 6 Attack
- New Democrat Coalition
- Problem Solvers Caucus
|Republican||Scott Taylor (incumbent)||133,458||48.8|
|Democrat gain from Republican|
|Democratic||Elaine Luria (incumbent)||185,733||51.6|
|Democratic||Elaine Luria (incumbent)||143,204||48.22|
|Republican gain from Democrat|
Luria's husband, Robert Blondin, is also a retired naval commander and spent 27 years in the service. Luria has two stepchildren and a daughter born in 2009. The family resides in Norfolk, and she gave the commencement speech in May 2019 at Virginia Wesleyan University. Luria attends Ohef Sholom Temple, a Reform Jewish synagogue in Norfolk.
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