Aaron Rouse, a former National Football League player who runs a youth-focused nonprofit organization and served four years on the Virginia Beach City Council, will be sworn into the state Senate on Wednesday after unofficial results were finalized in the special election to fill the Virginia Beach-based seat.
With the completed tabulation of provisional and post-election ballots Tuesday afternoon, unofficial results showed Rouse narrowly defeating Republican Kevin Adams, a retired Navy lieutenant commander who runs a home-improvement business. The two men were competing for the swing-district seat vacated by Republican Jen A. Kiggans after she was elected to Congress in November.
Adams conceded the morning after Rouse, who held a narrow lead on election night, declared victory in the Jan. 10 election. The Virginia State Board of Elections is scheduled to certify results of the three special elections that were held that day, which included two other races for state House seats, on Wednesday afternoon. Rouse will be sworn into the Senate immediately after certification.
The race between Rouse and Adams drew national attention and heavy funding because of its potential impact on abortion access in Virginia. Rouse made abortion rights a focal point of his campaign, while Adams said he favored a proposal by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to ban abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape and incest, and to protect the mother’s life.
In the closely divided Senate, Rouse’s victory flips the seat, widening Democrats majority to 22-18.
The General Assembly began its annual session last week in Richmond. Abortion and gun control are expected to be among the most hotly debated issues.