Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Abigail Spanberger Will Run for Governor of Virginia

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is telling her friends and colleagues that she will run for governor of Virginia in 2025. She has been planning the run for years. Since the gubernatorial election is in Nov. 2025, Spanberger could run for Congress in 2024 and then run for governor while in the House, or resign shortly after the 2024 election. But she is planning to be more upfront with the voters and not run for reelection, rather than run and then resign if she wins.

Democrats are worried about her resignation. Her VA-07 district near the Richmond suburbs is D+1, which means it will be a huge Republican target. Without Spanberger, it could go red, endangering Democrats' chances to take over the House. Democratic leaders want her to announce that she is not running for reelection soon so that there can be a vigorous primary in June 2024 and have the election in a presidential year, rather than having a special election in a very off year (2025).

On the other hand, Democrats also badly want to recapture the Virginia governor's mansion, which Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) will be leaving in Jan. 2026 because governors in Virginia may not serve two consecutive terms. Spanberger is a prodigious fundraiser, and that will come in handy in a statewide race. In the 2022 cycle, she raised an incredible $9 million and has $1.2 million in her campaign account now. Virginia has very lax laws about fundraising and she will no doubt exploit them to the hilt. Primaries on both sides are likely in 2025. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D), who is Black, will probably run and so will former Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D), who is white. Seventy-three of the 74 governors of Virginia have been white men. The only exception, Doug Wilder, is Black. Spanberger wants to stop the guys' streak at 74, and Filler-Corn may decide to try it, too.

All in all, Spanberger's plans are a mixed bag for the Democrats. Putting a swing seat in the House in even more danger is obviously not welcome, but having a strong prodigious fundraiser who is also a moderate running for governor of Virginia is definitely a plus. (V)

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