The Challenge

November 7, 2019

Jen Kiggans projected as winner of Virginia’s 7th District Senate race over Cheryl Turpin

Red Maverick Media

Jen Kiggans

Virginia State Senate

The historical election data was trending the wrong direction for Jen Kiggans.

 

Also trending in the wrong direction was outside spending. Outside groups poured millions of dollars into Virginia’s state elections in 2019 to the tune of $15 million.

 

From 2015 to 2019, that was a…

213% Increase

 

Needless to say, holding this seat was going to take a special kind of campaign.

Heading into the 2019 Virginia State Senate Elections, Republicans held a one seat majority. There were six seats that they were defending that Democrats were targeting as potential flips. One of the most pivotal seats was State Senate District 7. Frank Wagner had held the seat for close to two decades and his retirement announcement in early 2019 set the stage for what would be a pivotal election.

 

Democrats smelled blood.

 

Virginia is a unique state that holds elections every year. In odd-numbered years when most of the country is gearing up for a midterm or presidential election the following year, Virginia is holding gubernatorial and/or state legislative elections. Turnouts in these years hover somewhere around 30% in elections like those held in 2019.

 

The challenge for Jen Kiggans, our client and the Republican nominee for Senate District 7, was two-fold:

 

1) An increase in funding and enthusiasm behind Democratic voters

2) A tendency of swing voters to vote blue in previous years

 

After Trump won the district in 2016, the following statewide/federal elections were as follows…

 

our role

Before even taking on our Democratic challenger, Red Maverick had to get Jen Kiggans through a tough contested primary. Jen was the final candidate to announce and had less than a week to get her signatures together to get on the ballot. Red Maverick jumped on board and led the charge to get Jen across the finish line as a first time candidate running against the establishment choice with significantly more campaign funds.

 

Red Maverick Media was then proud to quarterback the strategy and messaging for Jen Kiggans’ general election campaign as well. As the general consultant and mail vendor, our firm played a critical role in ensuring our strategy would overcome the national sentiment against Republicans and the fact that we were almost outspent 2 to 1.

 

Red Maverick Media not only ran the campaign side of things but served as the liaison between the Republican State Legislative Committee (RSLC), Republican Senate Caucus, outside groups like the NRA, NFIB and others who were putting time, money and resources into getting Jen elected.

the result

On Election Night, Jen Kiggans garnered 50.36% of the vote, winning a crucial targeted victory for Republicans.

 

Of the six targeted State Senate Districts, Republicans held four (with Red Maverick clients making up 50% of those victories).

 

A large focus of national Republicans’ reelection focus, both for the White House and the House of Representatives is areas or districts where President Trump won in 2016 and the area or district went Democrat in 2018. We have shown with Jen Kiggans that it is possible to win in these areas, despite being outspent, with effective messaging and smart campaigning.