The 7th congressional district spans most of Central Virginia. It includes all of Fredericksburg, Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, Culpeper County, Orange County, Caroline County, King George County, Greene County, Madison County, as well as portions of Prince Wiliam County and Albemarle County. The district went from Republican to Democrat in 2018, when Spanberger won her seat by just 2% of the vote and is considered one of the most competitive congressional districts in the Commonwealth. In the 2020 election, Spanberger won with just over 50% of the vote.
This election will be held on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D), a former operations officer with the CIA, has held the District 7 seat since 2021 and is running for re-election against Yesli Vega (R), a law enforcement officer.
Incumbent Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D), is a former CIA case officer. She was previously a federal law enforcement officer, dealing with narcotics and money laundering cases with the US Postal Inspection Service. She prides herself on her bipartisanship and has served in Congress since 2019. Currently, she sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and House Agriculture Committee. She grew up in Henrico County, attended the University of Virginia, and received an MBA from the GISMA and Purdue University.
Spanberger considers climate change a direct threat to our future. She chairs the Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee on the US House Agriculture Committee. In 2019, she helped introduce the Climate Action Now Act, which would require the U.S. to remain in the Paris Climate Agreement. She introduced the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act, the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for Farmers Act, and the Healthy Soil, Resilient Farmers Act. Spanberger also pushed legislation requiring the recognition of climate change as a national threat and cosponsored legislation to require the EPA to test for lead contamination in school’s water supplies.
As a former federal law enforcement officer, Spanberger understands first hand how injustices within the criminal justice system can endanger families. Spanberger supports criminal justice reform and advocates for policies that address addiction in jails and prisons. She is committed to pushing policies that ban no-knock warrants and chokeholds, and would like to see improved anti-bias training, increasing accountability, and limiting militarization of the police. Spanberger co-sponsored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. She prioritizes legislation that reduces mass incarceration and ends the school-to-prison pipeline.
Additionally, Spanberger believes in the necessity of commonsense gun violence prevention. She refers to gun violence as an epidemic and a public safety issue. She cosponsored the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require universal background checks on all firearm purchases. She also voted in favor of the Enhanced Background Checks Act, the Protecting Our Kids Act, and the US Senate’s bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation. Spanberger is a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and cosponsored the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act.
Spanberger is supports bodily autonomy and considers reproductive healthcare as a social and economic necessity. She believes the overturning of Roe v. Wade will have massive consequences across the country. She supports federal funding for Planned Parenthood and other providers of essential healthcare screenings and preventative services for all. Spanberger is a member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus and worked with other members of the caucus to introduce the “Momnibus Bill” to address the nation’s crisis in Black maternal mortality. She voted in favor of the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Yesli Vega (R), is a military wife and law enforcement officer. She has spoken out against abortion access and has stated she will support a law to “protect innocent life from conception.” She also stands against gay marriage. Additionally, she supports stricter imigration policies and stronger gun rights.
Due to her commitments to reproductive freedom and rights, racial justice, and gun violence prevention, Incumbent Abigail Spanberger is the more progressive candidate in this race.
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