Throughout much of this year, we have covered strong Republican Veteran candidates that ran for legislative offices at the state and federal levels. 2022 Veteran Candidates for U.S Senate and Congress and 2022 Conservative Veterans Running For Office served as introductions to the candidates we covered, at the federal and state level, respectively. These were men and women who served their country honorably in the military and espoused the ethos of service that we believe makes Veterans best qualified to serve in government.
Once the primary season concluded, we began the process of updating how the candidates fared. Read 2022 Primary Results for Veteran Candidates for the results of Republican Veterans who ran for federal office. Our coverage of state level races can be read in our three-part series, found here, here, & here.
Election Day 2022 has come and gone, and we have our results! Below are the well deserving winners, who now join the ranks of Veterans in government at both the federal and state level.
Veterans Who Won Midterm Election in 2022
These winners are part of an impressive performance in 2022 for Veteran candidates, including 81 victories for US Congress. “This is the first election since the Vietnam War where congressional military service has significantly increased,” notes Seth Lynn, a University of San Francisco adjunct professor and founder of Veterans Campaign. Our coverage below begins with some of these winners for US Congress and ends with winners for state office in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio.
We celebrate with these great Veterans and are encouraged with the recent trends leading to more Vets representing us in office and hope to keep building off this momentum in elections to come!
US House of Representatives
Jen Kiggans, US Navy – Virginia 2nd Congressional District
Heading into Election Day, Republican Jen Kiggans was set to go head-to-head with incumbent Democrat Elaine Luria for the opportunity to represent Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District in the US House of Representatives. We are pleased to report that voters threw their support for Kiggans on November 8th! In her victory speech, Kiggans declared that her election marked “a new day for our commonwealth and for our country.” “We’re here to celebrate a renewed commitment to restore American strength in our economy, at our borders, in our community and on the world stage,” she said. Upon conceding, Luria said “We came out short of where we wanted to land. But the truth is that we do need to wish her the best of luck.” Kiggans won with 52% of the vote.
Morgan Luttrell, US Navy/SEAL – Texas 8th Congressional District
As we previously covered, Morgan Luttrell had his work cut out for him to get the Republican nomination for Texas’ 8th Congressional District. Not only was he able to beat out ten other competitors in the Republican primary, but he was also able to keep the momentum going on Election Day. On November 8th, Luttrell beat opponent, Democrat Laura Jones, and is now a member-elect in the House of Representatives.
He won a decisive victory with over 70% of the vote.
Alabama State House
David Cole, US Army – Alabama House of Representatives, District 10
As a candidate, Republican David Cole offered a unique perspective in the post-Covid era as both a Veteran and accomplished surgeon. When asked what made his experience unique, Cole pointed to one of our favorite qualities that Veterans bring to the table: “It comes from 2 perspectives – in the military there is a lot of collaborative work. You can’t get something done by yourself and so you have to learn to run your ideas by others and get them to agree – and if they don’t agree – you talk out your differences. Medicine is the same way.” And it appears his belief in working together paid off with voters in his district.
David Cole won the race to represent District 10 with over 51% of the vote.
Georgia State House
Rey Martinez, US Navy – Georgia House of Representatives, District 111
As a lifelong Republican and son of Cuban emigres, Rey Martinez campaigned on a promise to put America and Georgia first. He ran against the creeping tide of neo-Marxism in our country and in support of the values which inspired him to serve in our nation’s military for 25 years. Martinez represents the wealth of support that may be found for Republicans in future elections within the Latin American community. It’s a community that understands the current threat to our liberties from experiences in theirs or their parents’ native countries.
On Latino voters, Martinez says the community “wants to be left alone. We want to be able to accomplish the American dream on our own.”
His pro-America, pro-Liberty platform resonated with voters as he won with over 65 percent of the vote against his Democrat opponent, Ryan Cox.
Ohio State House
Steve Demetriou, US Army – Ohio House of Representatives, District 35
Republican candidate Steve Demetriou had an impressive military resume which boasted a degree from West Point, being selected as an Army Ranger, and earning a Bronze Star for his service during the GWOT. But his pedigree as a small business owner who “kept his business afloat during Covid, civil unrest, and labor shortages” was also part of his pitch to voters in his Ohio District. His military and small business experiences appeared to be a winning combination on Election Day, earning him over 60% of the vote against his Democrat opponent.
Demetriou took to Twitter to thank God, his wife, campaign, and of course voters for his win. “I promise to uphold my commitment to servant leadership and to stand up for our families, our small businesses, and our first responders,” he wrote.
Bernard Willis, US Air Force – Ohio House of Representatives, District 74
Bernard Willis’ ability to lead is showcased by his 30-year career in the military including multiple tours as a commander. For him, part of being an effective leader is compromise while standing up for your values. This “is at the heart of statesmanship. We have to work together to effect good public policy and laws,” he told Ballotpedia. His commitment to bringing accountability to Ohio’s schools, support for law enforcement, and a strong economic climate in the state resonated with voters in his district, giving him over 63% of their vote.
Following his victory, he posted his gratitude to supporters on Facebook. “We are SO humbled by the confidence shown in the voting from our new district.. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement throughout the last year’s journey. We will not let you down!” he wrote.