Democrat appears to flip Virginia state Senate seat in closely watched special election

Democratic state senate nominee Aaron Rouse seems to have secured Tuesday a narrow victory in Virginia’s 7th state Senate district election, according to unofficial results. 

Rouse declared victory Tuesday against Republican Kevin Adams, who has received support from Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. 

‘THANK YOU! With your support, and the support of voters from across Virginia Beach and Norfolk, we have won this Special Election,’ Rouse tweeted Tuesday night. ‘No rest for the weary – tomorrow, we head to Richmond to get to work for Virginia families.’

The race, which appears to have been decided by less than a percentage point, was triggered when incumbent Jen Kiggans won a U.S. congressional seat during the midterm elections.

The Virginia race attracted national media attention and big dollars from outside groups over its position as an abortion policy background. 

Before entering politics, Rouse was selected in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers and left the league in 2010.

Rouse also received national attention for his anti-police activism following the death of George Floyd.

As Rouse took to the podium at a ‘unity rally’ in June 2020, he promised to be ‘straightforward’ and ‘speak truth’ before going into a tirade against the United States and police, according to video of the event posted to Facebook.

‘America may have freed the slave, but not the Black American,’ Rouse said during the rally. ‘I’m not here to explain to you the anger, the frustration, and the tired of being sick and tired of being Black in America.’

‘I’m not here to teach you how the institution of slavery formed the origins of American policing […]The similarities between the slave patrols and modern American policing are too salient to dismiss or ignore,’ Rouse said.

During a time when riots were underway in cities across the country, and law enforcement was attacked by demonstrators, including in Virginia where two capitol police officers were injured and taken to the hospital during the Floyd protests, Rouse seemingly issued a threat later in his speech.

‘If we continue to allow systemic and systematic barriers to persist…neither persons nor property will be safe,’ Rouse said.

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