2019 is a crucial year for Republicans in Virginia. With all 100 House of Delegates and 40 State Senate seats up for reelection, candidates across the state are looking for a way to break through and attract voters. So, when it comes to Jen Kiggans, this is no different.
After the retirement of long time State Senator Frank Wanger in the 7th district, Jen Kiggans, a former Navy Pilot and Nurse Practitioner, decided to enter the primary. With just over 60 days until the primary, Jen faced an uphill battle as the majority of the establishment and elected officials were already backing her opponent. Never one to avoid a challenge, Jen embraced her role as the underdog and mobilized quickly.
POOLHOUSE was brought in to produce media for the Kiggan’s Campaign and most notably a long-form introductory ad.
We also focused on portraying her as an outsider, continuing to drive the clear distinction between public servants and politicians. Jen Kiggans outsider status was cemented when her opponent received the retiring incumbent’s endorsement.
We used cut-downs of the ad to run paid digital on social media, specifically targeting the same voter file being used by the mail vendors and other look-alike universes.
2019 presented another unique challenge: off-year elections in Virginia consistently have much lower turnout than other elections. In the last election cycle, there was a nearly a 42% dropoff in voter turnout from the presidential election to the next election of Virginia State Senators.
Knowing how important every vote would be, we worked with the campaign to budget strategically, allowing us to go on TV for the last 6 days before the election with a powerful :30s cutdown. After two months of knocking on doors and telling a compelling story, Kiggans and her grassroots team remained strong and drove voter turnout all the way through election day.
By the end of June 11th our planning and effort paid off – Kiggans secured a narrow, hard-fought victory! By just 256 votes, Jen Kiggans became the Republican nominee for one of this year’s most competitive races.