Spanberger announces his candidacy for governor in Virginia and leaves the seat in the House of Representatives up for grabs | ET REALITY

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Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a prominent Virginia Democrat who repeatedly managed to win in a conservative-leaning district, announced on monday that she would run for governor in 2024, leaving open a competitive seat that could be crucial to her party’s efforts to regain control of the House next year.

Spanberger, 44, is considered one of the strongest Democratic contenders to succeed Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a term-limited Republican. Her decision not to seek re-election to Congress leaves House Democrats fighting to hold on to a seat that is regularly up for grabs for both parties.

“Virginia is where I grew up, where I am raising my own family, and where I intend to build a stronger future for the next generation of Virginians,” Spanberger said in a statement.

Ms. Spanberger is the first candidate to announce her candidacy for governor of Virginia. Her early announcement is intended to allow a successor to build a campaign for the 2024 House race, which Democrats believe would provide a more favorable electorate than a special election.

But House Republicans said their chances of reclaiming the seat improved substantially with Spanberger’s planned departure, marking her as the latest example of a Democrat in a competitive seat choosing to run for higher office rather than remain in the House. .

Other examples include Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Katie Porter of California, who are running for Senate seats.

“House Democrats in swing districts are fighting for exits and creating pickup opportunities at the @NRCC from coast to coast,” said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Jack Pandol. wrote in X, formerly known as Twitter. “We are in a privileged position to get this seat.”

Spanberger, a former CIA official, won election in 2018 as part of a wave of centrist women, many with national security experience, who said they were running to counter President Donald J. Trump and whose victories boosted Democrats. to the camera. most. She earned a reputation in Congress as a Democrat willing to buck her party, refusing to vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California for speaker and pushing to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.

Still, Ms. Spanberger was recently elected to the Democratic leadership to represent the interests of members of the contested districts.

Ms. Spanberger currently holds the central and northern Virginia seat previously held by Rep. Eric Cantor, a Republican and former House Majority Leader. He was defeated in a primary in 2014 by a Tea Party-aligned Republican, Dave Brat, who then lost to Spanberger in 2018.

He won two close re-election campaigns, although the seat was redrawn before the 2022 race, making it slightly more favorable to Democrats.

New district boundaries and last week’s election results in the state have Democrats optimistic about holding the seat.

“Virginians have consistently made clear – including last week – that they want leaders focused on protecting fundamental rights and freedoms, growing the middle class and delivering results for working families,” said Justin Chermol, spokesman for the Democratic Campaign Committee. Congress. “That’s why the 7th District will remain in Democratic hands in 2024.”

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