The Associated Press called the race Tuesday evening for the Virgina Republican, who beat out Hirschbiel despite the fact that voters went heavily for President Obama in 2008.
But the heavy military presence in Norfolk and Hampton Roads, combined with a redistricting effort earlier this year, helped lock in the win for Rigell in the Republican-leaning district.
Both cities are home to a number of major Navy shipyards, and Norfolk is home to the service's entire East Coast fleet.
Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney visited the area multiple times during the campaign, with the president touting his credentials as commander in chief during the visits.
But Romney and other GOP lawmakers sought to use looming defense budget cuts under the White House's sequestration plan to counter the Obama camp's strategy in Virginia and other states with a large military presence.