Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Democrat from the battleground state of Virginia, won against first-time House hopeful Yesli Vega in 2022's congressional election

Spanberger Vega 2x1
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo; LM Otero/AP Photo; Insider
  • Rep. Abigail Spanberger defeated Republican Yesli Vega in Virginia's 7th Congressional District.

  • Though Joe Biden clinched Virginia in 2020, Donald Trump carried Spanberger's district twice.

  • A Vega win would have helped House Republicans in their quest to reclaim power.

Two-term Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger defeated Republican Yesli Vega in Virginia's 7th Congressional District.

Polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

2022 General Embeds

 

Virginia's 7th Congressional District candidates

Spanberger, who previously worked for the Central Intelligence Agency and the US Postal Inspection Service, currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Agriculture Committee.

The lawmaker won a third term in Congress. She has represented the majority-white district since 2019, leaning into issues such as supporting the bipartisan gun reform package President Joe Biden signed into law this summer and spearheading a congressional stock trading ban awaiting action in both chambers.

Spanberger was unopposed in this year's Democratic primary. She won 51% of the vote in 2020.

Vega was one of the conservative candidates backed by E-PAC, the women-centric recruiting effort run by Trump-aligned House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. Vega was also endorsed by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative activist who was allegedly involved in trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Vega, a sheriff's deputy and district supervisor in Prince William County, beat a half-dozen, first-time candidates in the Republican primary.

A Vega win would have been a major pickup for the Republican Party, which needed to flip just a handful of seats in order to reclaim control of the chamber.

Voting history for Virginia's 7th Congressional District

The Old Dominion's 7th Congressional District includes a big chunk of central Virginia, stretching from the exurbs of the nation's capital to the outskirts of the state capital, Richmond.

The district, which went for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, was redrawn to tap more into the left-leaning power center that is Northern Virginia following the 2020 Census, making it slightly more Democratic.

The money race

According to OpenSecrets, Spanberger raised $8.3 million, spent $8.3 million, and had $597,713 of cash on hand as of October 19. Her opponent, Vega, raised $3 million, spent $2.7 million, and had $259,974 of cash still left to spend as of October 19.

Through November 7, the race — including primaries — had attracted about $25.4 million in spending from super PACs, national party committees, and other non-candidate groups aiming to influence its outcome. Such outside spending was on the high end for 2022 House races across the nation.

The National Republican Congressional Committee spent more than any other group on the race.

What experts said

The race between Spanberger and Vega was rated as "tilt Democratic" by Inside Elections, "toss up" by The Cook Political Report, and "leans Democratic" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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