Military Wiki
Elaine Luria
Member of the United States House of Representatives

Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Scott Taylor
Personal details
Born Elaine Goodman Luria
August 15, 1975(1975-08-15) (age 46)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Robert Blondin
Children 3
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1997–2017
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Commander

Elaine Goodman Luria (born August 15, 1975) is an American politician, U.S. Navy veteran, and member of the Democratic Party who is the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 2nd congressional district. The district includes most of the heart of Hampton Roads, including all of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and large portions of Norfolk and Hampton, as well as the Eastern Shore. Prior to being elected to Congress, Luria served as a United States Navy officer for 20 years, spending her entire career on combat ships, and reaching the rank of Commander.

Early life and education[]

Luria was born in Birmingham, Alabama.[1][2] Her mother Michelle's family immigrated to Jasper, Alabama, in 1906.[3][4] The family worked selling goods to coal miners in Walker County, Alabama.[3] Her great-grandfather helped found a Reform Jewish congregation in Jasper, and the family in time joined Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, where Luria was raised.[3] Her mother and grandmother were very 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 is active in Ohef Sholom in Norfolk.[4] Both of her grandfathers served in the Navy.[4]

She graduated from metropolitan Birmingham's Indian Springs School in 1993.[5][6][7] Luria then graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997, with a degree in physics and history, and a minor in French.[4] In 2000, she attended the United States Naval Nuclear Power School in Goose Creek, South Carolina.[8] While in the U.S. Navy and stationed aboard the flagship USS Blue Ridge, Luria earned a master's degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University in 2004.[9]

Military service[]

Luria served as a United States Navy officer for 20 years, operating nuclear reactors as an engineer,[10] reaching the rank of commander. She was the first female American sailor to spend her entire career on combat ships.[11]

She served first aboard USS O'Brien, a forward deployed destroyer that was sent to the Middle East.[4] Luria was in charge of Tomahawk strike missiles, and managed a division of 15 people.[4] She then became Reactor Controls Division Officer on USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier, deploying again to the Middle East.[4] Luria then as a lieutenant became Flag Aide to the commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.[4] She was then deployed on USS Mason, a destroyer, and USS Enterprise, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, and then was an executive officer of the guided missile cruiser USS Anzio.[4] She became maintenance coordinator of the United States Atlantic Fleet, overseeing USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.[4] She then commanded Assault Craft Unit TWO, a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors, from 2014 until her retirement in 2017.[12][13] (She held a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier shortly after 9/11).[14]

Luria's service was the longest active-duty tenure of any current members of the House Democratic Caucus.[15]

United States House of Representatives[]


In the 2018 elections, Luria ran for the United States House of Representatives in Virginia's 2nd congressional district.[16] In the June 10 Democratic primary, Luria received 62% of the vote, defeating Karen Mallard, who received 38%.[17]

In the November 6, 2018, election, she defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor, winning 51.1% of the vote.[18] 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.[19]


Luria was sworn in on January 3, 2019.[20] She was one of 102 female U.S. House members elected in 2018, a record number.[20] Among them were two other female veterans, fellow naval officer Mikie Sherrill and Air Force officer Chrissy Houlahan.

While the US government was in partial shutdown, she asked for her salary to be withheld until federal workers were paid.[20] She also led a group of Congress members seeking a compromise to end the shutdown.[21][22]

In October 2019, Luria joined House congressional leadership in a bipartisan congressional delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan, and Qatar. The delegation visited the countries' leadership, US diplomats, and active-duty US military personnel.[23]

As of October 2019, Luria has had two bills become law after passing Congress and being signed by President Trump, including a bipartisan bill to improve the cost of living adjustments (COLAs) made to veterans.[15]

Committee assignments[]

Caucus memberships[]

  • New Democrat Coalition

Political positions[]

Luria is considered part of a group of "security Democrats" who called for an impeachment inquiry on Donald Trump in a public op-ed on September 23, 2019.[29] In a town hall meeting, Luria stated she believed President 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 guise of trying to fight corruption."[30]

Luria favors universal background checks on gun buyers.[31]

Luria opposes efforts to repeal or dismantle the Affordable Care Act.[32]

Luria believes in manmade climate change. She is concerned that climate change impacts are harming military readiness and increasing global instability. She also believes attempts by the Trump administration to discredit military experts on the impact of climate change are undermining US national security. Luria supports 100% renewable energy production, and has cosponsored the "Climate Action Now Act".

There is no doubt climate change is a national security threat. In Coastal Virginia, for example, a heavy rain and a high tide prevents tens of thousands of sailors from accessing Naval Station Norfolk.


Electoral history[]

Democratic primary results[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elaine Luria 17,552 62.33
Democratic Karen Mallard 10,610 37.67
Total votes 28,162 100.0
Virginia's 2nd congressional district, 2018[35]
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[]

Luria's husband, Robert Blondin, is also a retired Navy commander and spent 27 years in the service.[12] Luria has two stepchildren as well as a daughter born in 2009.[36]

See also[]

  • Women in the United States House of Representatives
  • List of Jewish members of the United States Congress


  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". March 7, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Navy Vet Represents Wave Of Female Jewish Candidates" – The Forward
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 elaine45993531 (March 7, 2018). ""Another way to serve: After 20 years in Navy, Elaine Luria running for Congress" – Elaine for Congress". Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  5. The Washington Post (November 7, 2018). "Mountain Brook native Elaine Luria wins Virginia Congressional seat". Retrieved November 7, 2018. 
  6. "Another way to serve: After 20 years in Navy, Elaine Luria running for Congress". March 7, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018. 
  7. ""Mountain Brook native Elaine Luria wins Virginia Congressional seat"". November 7, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  8. "Elaine Luria; (1975 - )"
  9. "ODU "Graduate Elaine Luria Wins Tight Election for Seat in U.S. Congress" « News @ ODU". November 7, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  10. Brueck, Hilary; Kotecki, Peter. "The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist. Here's the full list.". Retrieved November 9, 2018. 
  11. Winer, Stuart (November 3, 2018). ""Meet the Jewish military veterans running for Congress"". The Times of Israel. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "For Elaine Luria, it's ships to mermaids | Jewish News". April 28, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018. 
  13. ""Meet Elaine" – Elaine for Congress". June 1, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  14. Frackenberg, Ben (2018-10-03). "Navy Vet Represents Fresh Wave Of Jewish Women Running For Congress". 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Rep. Luria’s bipartisan bill becomes law after being signed by President Trump". WTKR. 
  16. "Mermaid Factory owner, retired Navy officer to take on Rep. Scott Taylor in election | Local Politics". January 8, 2018. Retrieved October 17, 2018. 
  17. "In US House Race, Former Navy Commander Targets Former SEAL - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21". Retrieved October 17, 2018. 
  18. "Dem Elaine Luria defeats GOP's Scott Taylor in Virginia". TheHill. November 6, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018. 
  19. "Virginia House results from". CNN". Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 ""Virginia's Elaine Luria sworn in as Democrats take over House"". Daily Press. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  21. Jenna Portnoy (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. 
  22. "Congress agitates to end relentless shutdown". Politico. January 22, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019. 
  23. "Elaine Luria participates in bipartisan delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan, Qatar". Augusta Free Press. 
  24. ""Congresswoman Elaine Luria Secures Seat on House Armed Services Committee" | Representative Elaine Luria". January 15, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 ""Congresswoman Elaine Luria Appointed to Two Subcommittees on House Armed Services Committee" | Representative Elaine Luria". January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  26. ""Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Serve as Vice Chair of Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee" | Represetative Elaine Luria". February 1, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  27. ""Congresswoman Elaine Luria Joins House Committee on Veterans' Affairs" | Representative Elaine Luria". January 17, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  28. ""Congresswoman Elaine Luria to Lead Veterans' Subcommittee" | Representative Elaine Luria". January 31, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2019. 
  29. Benjamin Wallace-Wells (2019-09-28). "How the Security Democrats Came Around to Impeachment". 
  30. "The story of a Virginia swing district town hall: From cheers to jeers". Washington Post. 
  31. "Elaine Luria visits Yorktown, saying nary a word about impeachment—but showing off her push-up skills". Daily Press. 
  32. "Congresswoman Elaine Luria Opposes Efforts to Remove Protections from Virginians with Pre-Existing Conditions". Press release, 
  33. "Citing Threats to National Security, Representative Elaine Luria, Va.-2, Takes Climate Change Head On". The Well. 
  34. "2018 June Democratic Primary". Retrieved June 28, 2018. 
  35. "Official Results". 2018 November General. Virginia Department of Elections. November 9, 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2018. 
  36. Bartel, Bill (November 3, 2018). "Elaine Luria and Scott Taylor are locked in a close race. Here's where they stand on key issues.". Virginian Pilot. Retrieved 24 September 2019. 

External links[]

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

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

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