Three vulnerable Virginia Democrat incumbents are gearing up for likely difficult general election battles in November as they raise millions before their Republican opponents have been decided.
Democrat Reps. Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton have all raised big campaign war chests to prepare for the November general election.
All three congresswomen are top targets for Republicans, who are hoping to ride the wave created by newly minted Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) — the first Republican elected statewide since 2009.
As Breitbart News reported, both Spanberger’s and Luria’s districts — as they exist until 2023 — were won by Youngkin by significant margins, while Wexton’s moved ten points in Youngkin’s direction. All three districts also saw the most significant geographical changes from Virginia’s redistricting commission.
Rep. Elaine Luria, Second Congressional District
The University of Virginia Center for Politics and Cook Political Report, which rate congressional races across the county, both consider Luria’s district to be a “toss-up,” suggesting a tight re-election bid for the congresswoman.
In addition, if Youngkin’s election is considered by the redrawn congressional districts — for which Second District candidates are running — he still won Luria’s district by 11 points, according to an analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project.
“The Second District got more Republican with redistricting,” Second District Republican Party chairman Dennis Free told Breitbart News, calling it the “most Republican” of the three competitive races in Virginia this cycle. He also said it is “very possible” to flip all three seats.
Luria has raised a formidable amount of money — something Free said is expected. In the first quarter of 2022, the Virginia Democrat raised $1.2 million for a total of $4 million so far this cycle. She has more than $3.1 million cash on hand, according to her recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing.
“Our candidate will be facing an incumbent who has lots of money, and [Nancy] Pelosi will make sure she gets even more. The Democrats always have more money than us,” Free said. “They are the party of the rich elites.”
Free is very confident the Republicans can flip the district in November, calling it an “excellent prospect” and saying the party there will be “up to the task.”
“The Democratic incumbents have progressive voting records that they cannot escape,” Free said of Luria, Spanberger, and Wexton. “The Biden Administration and the Democrats who control Congress have really taken our county down a path of disastrous domestic, economic, education, energy, public safety, defense, and foreign policies. I cannot think of a single success in any democratic policies.”
“It is time to make a course correction,” he continued. “That correction began in Virginia and New Jersey last November. Last year’s swing towards Republicans in Virginia’s Second Congressional District was large, but it was equally large in Democratic strongholds like Arlington and Fairfax.
“All the signs indicate that the wave is going to continue,” he concluded. “It is our responsibility to keep the momentum that Governor Youngkin and the entire Republican ticket generated.”
Of June’s Republican primary — in which candidates Jen Kiggans, Andy Baan, Tommy Altman, and Jarome Bell are vying to take on Luria — Free told Breitbart News that “there is a palpable excitement throughout the district,” and he believes the primary will have the “largest turnout ever” for that district.
Luria’s campaign did not return a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Seventh Congressional District
While the Center for Politics considers Spanberger’s race one that “Leans D” — giving the congresswoman a slight upper hand — Cook on Wednesday changed its rating of this race from “Lean Democratic” to a toss-up.
The newly drawn Seventh District is very different geographically from the current map and will exist without the Richmond suburbs. Even so, when taking Youngkin’s win into account with regard to the redrawn district, he still won it by nearly five points.
Spanberger has also made headlines appearing to challenge the Democrat Party’s move toward socialism and advocating being a moderate.
“We need to not ever use the word socialist or socialism ever again, because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter,” Spanberger said after her party lost many seats in the 2020 election. “And we lost good members because of that. If we are classifying Tuesday as a success from a Congressional standpoint, we will get fucking torn apart in 2022.”
But to Seventh District Republican Party chairman Ben Hazekamp, “Spanberger has tried to make the case that she is a moderate Democrat who is here to serve the people of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, however, this is not the case.”
“She has time after time sold out the good people of Virginia to service the needs of coastal elites who run the Democrat-controlled House,” Hazekamp told Breitbart News.
Like Luria, Spanberger has raised a formidable war chest. During the last fundraising quarter, Spanberger raised more than $1.1 million and ended March with $3.9 million cash on hand — more than $4.2 million raised so far this cycle.
“Virginians are fed up with the results of this White House and Democrat-controlled House of Representatives,” he continued. “They are seeing higher prices in the grocery stores, at the gas pumps, and in their tax bills. At a time when many are suffering as we come out of a pandemic, they are seeing the Democrats as the party that has damaged the economy, and will build us back broken, instead of better.”
Of Spanberger, who he described as “part of the problem,” Hazekamp said the Republicans are “excited about the prospects of firing her in November.”
The Seventh District has six Republicans vying for a chance to unseat Spanberger, each of whom “have something valuable to offer Virginians,” according to Hazekamp. “From the voters, I am hearing about how hard their decision is to make going into the primary because of the quality of the candidates in our field.”
The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a House Republican-aligned group, hammered both Luria and Spanberger.
“Virginia Democrats are panicking because they have nothing to show but a record of failures a mile high,” said CLF Press Secretary Cally Perkins. “With soaring inflation and record crime, families know Luria and Spanberger can’t be trusted to lead on the biggest issues they face.”
Spanberger’s campaign did not return a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Rep. Jennifer Wexton, Tenth Congressional District
While Cook has not rated the race for Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District, the Center for Politics calls it “Safe D,” as Wexton is in the safest seat of the three competitive races in Virginia.
Despite that, the Republican Party still views the district as one it can flip in November.
Once again, fueled by Youngkin’s win last year — in which he narrowly lost the newly drawn Tenth by 1.6 points — Republicans believe Wexton is vulnerable, in part, because she represents the district that includes the political hotbed of Loudoun County.
“Our prospects for reclaiming the Tenth Congressional District and Virginia from Jennifer Wexton and the Democrats are very good,” Tenth Congressional District Republican Party chairman Geary Higgins told Breitbart News.
“The issues that won for us last fall, such as opening our schools, parental rights, public safety, lockdowns and the economy, are still very relevant and the Democrats have not backed away from them and if anything are doubling down,” he continued. “Add to that recent issues such as hyperinflation, a failed energy policy with doubled gasoline prices, a disastrous foreign policy and I believe you have the makings of big changes in Virginia and nationally.”
“We intend to remind the voters of these failed policies,” he concluded.
Possibly because her race is viewed as safer than Luria’s and Spanberger’s, Wexton only raised $548,481 last quarter and raised almost $1.7 million during this cycle. Regardless, she has more than $3 million cash on hand.
There are 11 Republicans vying for a chance to run against Wexton in the general election.
Wexton’s campaign did not return a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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