Last Updated on July 17, 2021
An establishment-backed GOP candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District, Jen Kiggans, was reportedly caught plagiarizing Democrat incumbent Elaine Luria, who she hopes to face off against in the November 2022 mid-term election, lifting phrases from a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed written by Luria, and using them herself in a fundraising email sent to supporters.
According to the devastating report from The Daily Beast, Kiggans’ used the fundraising email to paint herself as the right choice to take on threats from an aggressive China, with the GOP primary race candidate sometimes parroting Luria’s just four-day-old op-ed “down to the very word.”
“Kiggans, a Virginia state senator, makes the same overall argument—many of them in strikingly similar language to Luria’s. She claims this stance sets her apart from elected Democrats who ‘don’t seem to share that perspective,’ while ignoring that Luria does, in fact, share that perspective. Sometimes down to the very word.”
In what the report calls the “most egregious example of potential plagiarism,” Kiggans reportedly used a phrase so uncommon, that when Google searched, it can only be traced back to Luria’s Wall Street Journal op-ed. When analyzed at Stanford University’s Literary Lab, a researcher found just a one in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance that both candidates would have used the term on their own.
“…in the most egregious example of potential plagiarism, where the op-ed says, ‘China has an extensive ground-based conventional missile force,’ the Kiggans fundraising email states, ‘they have built extensive ground-based conventional missile forces.’That phrase is not a military term of art or commonly used expression. A closed-quote Google search for ‘extensive ground-based conventional missile force’ only returned one hit: Luria’s op-ed.”
When reached for comment by National File, Kiggans’ 2022 Republican Primary race opponent, Jarome Bell blasted her, highlighting her ties to the Republican establishment and labeling her campaign a knock-off of both Democrat Luria and her GOP establishment-backed predecessor, ex-Congressman Scott Taylor.
“Nothing about Kiggans is original,” Bell told National File. “She says she’s using Scott Taylor’s playbook, she has the same PACS as the establishment RINOs, and now she’s even using Democrat talking points on China. Why would any constituent want to be represented by a person without their own mind?”
In 2020, despite being embroiled in an election fraud scandal that saw staffers from his 2018 campaign face criminal charges, Taylor again sought office and again lost to Luria. Along the way, he came out in support of mail-in balloting and, after National File’s reporting on the matter, later denied he had ever done so.
“Kiggans indicated that she planned to go after Luria with the same playbook used by Luria’s 2020 challenger, former Congressman Scott Taylor,” reported The Washington Post in announcing Kiggans’ run, with the Taylor playbook consisting of trying to out-centrist the competition as opposed to embracing the America First platform championed by President Donald Trump and supported by the conservative base of the Republican Party.