Who is Abigail Spanberger? The incumbent Democrat in Virginia's 7th Congressional District

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Abigail Spanberger has served as the Democratic congresswoman for Virginia's 7th Congressional District since 2019.

She's running unopposed in her party for a third term, and there will be no Democratic primary. Six Republican candidates are vying to run against her in the general election this fall. Virginia's primary election is June 21.

Spanberger defeated Republican incumbent Dan Brat in 2018, ending the Republican Party's 36-year hold on the district. She won her second term in 2020 against Republican Nick Frietas by 1.8 percentage points.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., left, laughs with Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., in Frankel's office on April 1, 2019.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., left, laughs with Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., in Frankel's office on April 1, 2019.

The general election is expected to be even more competitive in the newly redrawn district, which previously held suburbs west of Richmond but now is northeast of Charlottesville, encompassing a large portion of Prince William County and all of Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, King George, Caroline, Orange, Culpeper, Madison and Greene counties.

Projections show that President Joe Biden would have won the district by seven points in 2020, while Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin would have carried the district by six points in the 2021 gubernatorial race, according to analysis from Roll Call.

More: In a purple district in purple Virginia, soaring inflation takes the stage in the midterms battle

Congress is fractured: So Democrats, Republicans went to family therapy – together. We were there.

Who is Abigail Spanberger?

From 2006 to 2014, Spanberger worked at the CIA as an operations officer, gathering intelligence on nuclear proliferation and terrorism. After working in the private sector for a few years, she was appointed to the Virginia Fair Housing Board by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

She announced her candidacy in July 2017, running against Republican incumbent and Tea Party member Dave Brat. She defeated Brat by just over 6,600 votes, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district since 1970.

Spanberger was narrowly re-elected in 2020 against Nick Frietas, a Republican member of the House of Delegates

Days after winning the election, Spanberger openly criticized the Democratic Party's 2020 election strategy in a leaked call with other Democratic caucus members. She said Democrats should "not ever use the word 'socialist' or 'socialism' ever again," as she saw Republicans target ads about "socialism" and "defunding the police" as a reason why Democrats were losing swing districts like hers.

In Congress, Spanberger serves on the Agriculture and Foreign Affairs committees.

Where does Abigail Spanberger live?

Not in her district.

Spanberger lives in Henrico with her husband and three children, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported, a northwest suburb of Richmond located more than an hours' drive south of the new district.

It's not a requirement for representatives to live in their districts; Spanberger was drawn out of her district in December when redistricting moved the boundaries north of Charlottesville. However, Republican primary candidates have already criticized Spanberger for representing a district she does not reside in.

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D, VA) is sworn in as a member of the 116th Congress surrounded by family.
Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D, VA) is sworn in as a member of the 116th Congress surrounded by family.

Who is Abigail Spanberger running against?

Spanberger has no Democratic primary, but she'll go up against one of six Republican candidates vying to replace her. They include: Derrick Anderson, Bryce Reeves, Yesli Vega, Crystal Vanuch, David Ross and Gina Ciarcia.

Virginia House races: Inflation fears pressure Democrats in Virginia House races. Could they be a bellwether?

What is Abigail Spanberger's platform?

Spanberger is a centrist Democrat and voted with former President Donald Trump 6.9% of the time. She's a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of House members who identify as centrists or conservatives.

One of her top priorities is health care and lowering prescription drug costs. She sponsored the Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts act — which the House passed unanimously — which seeks to lower drug prices by publicizing rebates and discounts.

Spanberger voted against the HEROES Act in May 2020, a proposed $3 trillion coronavirus relief package, saying it went "far beyond" pandemic relief.

Who has endorsed Abigail Spanberger?

As the incumbent and sole Democrat candidate, Spanberger has received a slew of endorsements, including Emily's List, LGBT Democrats of Virginia and Planned Parenthood.

President Joe Biden hugs Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., as he arrives on Marine One at Culpeper Regional Airport, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Brandy Station, Va.
President Joe Biden hugs Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., as he arrives on Marine One at Culpeper Regional Airport, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Brandy Station, Va.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who is Abigail Spanberger? Incumbent Democrat in Virginia primary