Elaine Luria

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Elaine Luria
Elaine Luria, Official Portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byScott Taylor
Personal details
Elaine Goodman Luria

(1975-08-15) August 15, 1975 (age 45)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Robert Blondin
EducationUnited States Naval Academy (BS)
Old Dominion University (MS)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1997–2017
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Commander

Elaine Goodman Luria (born August 15, 1975) is an American politician and Navy veteran from the Commonwealth of Virginia who has served as the Representative for Virginia's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2019. Luria's congressional district serves most of the heart of Hampton Roads, including all of Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Poquoson and portions of Norfolk and Hampton. Before running for Congress, she served as a Navy officer for 20 years. Luria rose to the rank of commander and spent the majority of her career deployed on navy ships. Luria defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor in 2018. She is currently running for a second term and will face Taylor in a rematch.

Early life and education[edit]

Luria was born on August 15, 1975 in Birmingham, Alabama.[1][2] Her mother Michelle's family immigrated to Jasper, Alabama, in 1906.[3] The family sold goods to coal miners in Walker County, Alabama.[3] In the early-1900s, Luria's great-grandfather helped spawn a Reform Jewish congregation in Jasper, and her immediate family joined the Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham.[3] 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.[3]

Luria graduated from Indian Springs School in 1993.[4] 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.[5] In 2000, Luria attended the United States Naval Nuclear Power School.[6] 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.[7]

Military service[edit]

Luria served as a Navy officer for 20 years, operating nuclear reactors as an engineer, where she rose to the rank of commander.[8] Luria was the first female American sailor to spend her entire career on combat ships.[9]

She served first aboard USS O'Brien, a forward deployed destroyer that was sent to the Middle East.[citation needed] Luria was in charge of Tomahawk strike missiles, and managed a division of 15 people.[citation needed] She then became Reactor Controls Division Officer on USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier, which also deployed to the Middle East.[citation needed] Luria became Flag Aide to the commander of the United States Seventh Fleet once she made lieutenant.[citation needed] She was deployed on destroyer USS Mason and nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise before serving as an executive officer on the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio.[citation needed] She became maintenance coordinator for the United States Atlantic Fleet, overseeing USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.[citation needed] She then commanded Assault Craft Unit TWO, a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors, from 2014 until her retirement in 2017.[10] She held a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier shortly after 9/11.[11]

Luria's service was the longest active-duty tenure of any current member of the House Democratic Caucus.[12]

United States House of Representatives[edit]

Congressional district[edit]

Virginia's 2nd congressional district is centered on Hampton Roads.[13] 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.[14]


2018 elections[edit]

In the 2018 elections, Luria ran for the United States House of Representatives in Virginia's 2nd congressional district.[15] In the Democratic primary on June 10, Luria garnered 62% of the vote, defeating Karen Mallard, who received 38%.[16]

In the November 6, 2018 election, she defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor, winning 51% of the vote to Taylor's 49%.[17] Luria 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.[18]

2020 elections[edit]

Luria is running for re-election in the 2020 elections.[19]


Luria was sworn in on January 3, 2019.[20] She was one of 102 female members elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2018, a record number.[20] She joined two other female veterans in that class, fellow Naval Academy graduate Mikie Sherrill and former Air Force officer Chrissy Houlahan.

On Veterans Day 2019, she 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."[5]

According to FiveThirtyEight's congressional vote tracker, as of July 2020 Luria had voted with Donald Trump's stated position 10% of the time.[21]

Domestic policy[edit]

While the federal government was in a partial shutdown, Luria asked for her salary to be withheld until federal workers were paid in January 2019.[20] She participated in a bipartisan group of Representatives seeking to broker a compromise to end the shutdown.[22][23]

Luria favors instituting red flag laws and universal background checks on all gun purchases.[24]

In February 2019, Luria introduced the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019, which increased the cost of living adjustments (COLAs) made to veterans.[25] It earned bipartisan support and passed in September 2019.[12]


Luria was listed as one of 60 House Democrats who expressed support for some kind of border wall in January 2019.[26][better source needed]


In September 2019, Luria labeled herself a "security Democrat"—an idiom for freshman Democrats with national security experience[27]—and called for an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.[28] In an October 2019 town hall meeting held in Virginia Beach, Luria charged that Donald Trump had: "Enlist[ed] the help of a foreign leader to influence and malign a potential political opponent to affect the outcome of our next election all under [the] guise of trying to fight corruption."[29] Later in October 2019, Luria formally voted for an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump,[30] and she joined all but three Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote for impeachment on both counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in December 2019;[31] all Republicans voted no to both charges in the House of Representatives.[31]


Luria accepts the scientific consensus on climate change.[32] She is concerned about the physical impacts of climate change on global instability and military readiness.[32] Luria also believes Donald Trump's administration is attempting to discredit military and scientific experts on the physical impacts of climate change, which she views as an aspersion to the national security and scientific apparatuses.[32]

In 2019, Luria cosponsored and voted for HR 1941, a ban on offshore drilling in the United States.[citation needed]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Virginia's 2nd congressional district Democratic primary results, 2018[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elaine Luria 17,552 62.3
Democratic Karen Mallard 10,610 37.7
Total votes 28,162 100.0
Virginia's 2nd congressional district general election results, 2018[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elaine Luria 139,571 51.1
Republican Scott Taylor (incumbent) 133,458 48.8
n/a Write-ins 371 0.1
Total votes 273,400 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life[edit]

Luria's husband, Robert Blondin, is also a retired Navy commander and spent 27 years in the service.[10] Luria has two stepchildren as well as a daughter born in 2009.[40] They reside in Norfolk,[41] and she made the commencement speech in May 2019 at Virginia Wesleyan University located in Virginia Beach.[41] Luria attends the Ohef Sholom Temple, a Reform Jewish synagogue, also located in Norfolk.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elaine Luria". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  2. ^ "Another way to serve: After 20 years in Navy, Elaine Luria running for Congress". Southern Jewish Life. March 7, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Fractenberg, Ben (October 3, 2018). "Navy Vet Represents Wave Of Female Jewish Candidates". The Forward. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  4. ^ Schneider, Gregory S. (November 5, 2018). "Democrats Wexton, Luria and Spanberger unseat Republicans Comstock, Taylor and Brat, while Kaine cruises in Virginia". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Portnoy, Jenna (November 21, 2019). "How Rep. Elaine Luria's faith inspired her to speak out on Israel, impeachment". Washington Post. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  6. ^ "Elaine Luria; (1975 - )". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  7. ^ Minium, Harry (November 7, 2018). "ODU Graduate Elaine Luria Wins Tight Election for Seat in U.S. Congress". Old Dominion University. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  8. ^ Brueck, Hilary; Kotecki, Peter (January 3, 2019). "The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist. Here's the full list". Business Insider. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  9. ^ Winer, Stuart (November 3, 2018). "Meet the Jewish military veterans running for Congress". The Times of Israel. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "For Elaine Luria, it's ships to mermaids". Jewish News. April 28, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Frackenberg, Ben (October 3, 2018). "Navy Vet Represents Fresh Wave Of Jewish Women Running For Congress". The Forward. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Boykin, Nick (October 1, 2019). "Rep. Luria's bipartisan bill becomes law after being signed by President Trump". WTKR. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  13. ^ "District Profile - US House of Representatives District 2". Virginia Public Access Project. April 22, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  14. ^ "Redistricting - US House of Representatives District 2". Virginia Public Access Project. April 22, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  15. ^ Bartel, Bill (January 8, 2018). "Mermaid Factory owner, retired Navy officer to take on Rep. Scott Taylor in election". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  16. ^ "In US House Race, Former Navy Commander Targets Former SEAL". WBOC-TV. May 24, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  17. ^ Brufke, Juliegrace (November 6, 2018). "Dem Elaine Luria defeats GOP's Scott Taylor in Virginia". The Hill. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "Virginia House results from 2018". CNN. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  19. ^ Bravender, Robin (January 27, 2018). "Va. has 5 U.S. House rookies. Here's how they spent their first year". The Virginia Mercury. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  20. ^ a b c Albiges, Marie (January 3, 2019). "Virginia's Elaine Luria sworn in as Democrats take over House". Daily Press. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  21. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  22. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (January 23, 2019). "Rep. Luria, Virginia Democrat, urges Pelosi to offer Trump a vote on border security funding". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Everett, Burgess; Bade, Rachael (January 22, 2019). "Congress agitates to end relentless shutdown". Politico. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  24. ^ Ress, Dave (October 1, 2019). "Elaine Luria visits Yorktown, saying nary a word about impeachment — but showing off her push-up skills". Daily Press. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  25. ^ "Summary: H.R.1200 - Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2019". United States Congress. February 13, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  26. ^ https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/gop-counts-60-democrats-who-support-some-type-of-border-wall
  27. ^ Wallace-Wells, Benjamin (September 28, 2019). "How the Security Democrats Came Around to Impeachment". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  28. ^ Crow, Jason; Cisneros, Gil; Houlahan, Chrissy; Luria, Elaine; Mikie, Sherrill; Slotkin, Elissa; Spanberger, Abigail (September 23, 2019). "Seven freshman Democrats: These allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  29. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (October 4, 2019). "The story of a Virginia swing district town hall: From cheers to jeers". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  30. ^ "Summary: H.Res.660 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)". United States Congress. October 29, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Summary: H.Res.755 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)". United States Congress. December 10, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  32. ^ a b c McCue, Dan (May 3, 2019). "Citing Threats to National Security, Representative Elaine Luria, Va.-2, Takes Climate Change Head On". The WELL. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  33. ^ "Congresswoman Elaine Luria Secures Seat on House Armed Services Committee". Congresswoman Elaine Luria. January 15, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  34. ^ a b "Congresswoman Elaine Luria Appointed to Two Subcommittees on House Armed Services Committee". Congresswoman Elaine Luria. January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  35. ^ "Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Serve as Vice Chair of Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee". Congresswoman Elaine Luria. February 1, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  36. ^ "Congresswoman Elaine Luria Joins House Committee on Veterans' Affairs". Congresswoman Elaine Luria. January 17, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  37. ^ "Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Lead Veterans' Subcommittee". Congresswoman Elaine Luria. January 31, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  38. ^ "2018 June Democratic Primary". Virginia Department of Elections. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  39. ^ "Official Results: 2018 November General Election". Virginia Department of Elections. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  40. ^ Bartel, Bill (November 3, 2018). "Elaine Luria and Scott Taylor are locked in a close race. Here's where they stand on key issues". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  41. ^ a b "Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Deliver 2019 Commencement Address". Virginia Wesleyan University. April 8, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019. A resident of Norfolk, she graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received a master’s in engineering management from Old Dominion University.
  42. ^ Portnoy, Jenna (November 21, 2018). "How Rep. Elaine Luria's faith inspired her to speak out on Israel, impeachment". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2020.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Scott Taylor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 2nd congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Levin
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Tom Malinowski