Republican state Del. Scott Taylor has defeated Democrat Shaun D. Brown to win Virginia’s reconfigured 2nd District seat, The Associated Press projects.
Taylor led Brown 59.9 percent to 40.1 percent with almost a third of precincts reporting.
Virginia’s 2016 congressional elections have been conducted using new maps selected by a federal judge. The 2nd District includes parts of the commonwealth’s Eastern Shore, as well as Virginia Beach and some other parts of Hampton Roads.
Incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Rigell is retiring after three terms. In June, Taylor defeated Rep. J. Randy Forbes in the GOP primary with 53 percent of the vote. Forbes, who currently represents the neighboring 4th District, had decided to run in the 2nd after redistricting made his own district more Democratic.
Taylor is a former Navy SEAL, and a security consultant with extensive overseas experience both during his Navy service and afterward. He has been a member of the Virginia House of Delegates since 2014.
He cites the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration as the biggest challenge to the military, a big deal in this Navy hub.
In 2015, Taylor published a book “Trust Betrayed: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Selling Out of America’s National Security,” in which he made the case for an activist American foreign policy.
“Whenever we retreat — and I don’t mean that just in the literal battlefield sense of the word — we leave a vacuum that bad actors are sure to exploit,” he wrote. “When our authority disappears, anything can happen, but most likely that’s when the bullies will go into action. The acknowledgement of this is the beginning of realism.”