Abigail Spanberger is the Democratic candidate for the 7th District of Virginia. The seat is currently held by right-wing Representative Dave Brat. While the seat has been held by Republicans since 1971, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Red to Blue List has recognized Spanberger’s potential to win the 7th district for the Democrats. Spanberger has extensive experience in public service from her time with the US Postal Inspection Services and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). If elected, Spanberger would be the first woman to represent the 7th district of Virginia.
Background and Achievements
Abigail Spanberger was born and raised in Henrico County. She attended J.R. Tucker High School’s Spanish immersion program and graduated from the University of Virginia. Her time in public service started as a Senate Page for Democratic Senator Chuck Robb of Virginia. She then moved to Germany and earned her MBA from the dual-degree German-American Program between GISMA business school and Purdue University. After graduating, Spanberger returned to the United States to work as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for narcotics and money laundering cases with the US Postal Inspection Service.
To pursue her love of public service and languages, Spanberger joined the CIA as an Operations Officer where she worked domestically and overseas to protect the United States from threats of terrorism. In 2014, Spanberger transitioned to the private sector in order to move back to Virginia with her husband and three children. She worked with EAB- Royall & Company to help higher education institutions diversify their student body and improve their financial services to make the education affordable for all students. After watching the Republicans try to repeal the ACA without even waiting for a score from the Congressional Budget Office, Spanberger knew that it was time for her to return to public service.
Positions on Key Issues
- Protects Women’s Reproductive Justice, including federal funding for Planned Parenthood;
- Advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment;
- Supports Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP;
- Advocates for increasing support in public education;
- Supports legislative intervention of firearm sales to reduce gun violence.
Prospects & Opponents
Spanberger won the Democratic primary with 72% of the vote. She will now face incumbent Dave Brat in the general election this coming November. Since taking office in 2014, Brat has voted to repeal and replace the ACA, supported Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban, and advocated for making “market-based reforms” to Medicare and Social Security. Brat actively pushes anti-reproductive rights and health legislation, such as the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which he co-sponsored. The Cook Political Report has re-classified Virginia’s 7th District from strong Republican to likely Republican, making room for the possibility of a strong, reliable Democratic candidate like Spanberger to switch the district from red to blue.
- Feminist Majority
- EMILY's List
- End Citizens United
- NARAL Pro-Choice America
- The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
- Honorable Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond