Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) is not going to run for reelection in 2024 because she is planning to run for governor of Virginia in 2025. She didn't have to give up her House seat until she was sworn in, but she decided not to run for reelection in order to be able to campaign full time for governor. Her district, VA-07, is D+1, almost a perfect swing district. With every swing House seat now being fought over bitterly, this one will be a huge battleground southwest of D.C. Here is the district.
Joe Biden won the district in 2020 by 7 points, so it leans Democratic. Nevertheless, Republicans will fight hard for it, especially with Spanberger, a fundraising powerhouse, not in the mix. Several Democrats are eyeing the seat. State Sen. Jennifer Foy, who has a strong base in Prince William County, is a logical candidate. She is ambitious and ran for governor in 2021, coming in second in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Jeremy McPike, Del. Elizabeth Guzman, and former Del. Hala Ayala are all potential candidates. Former White House adviser Cameron Webb who grew up in Spotsylvania County in the district is also potentially interested. All of them have to start checking with donors and getting the lay of the land before jumping in. Also, if a couple of heavyweights enter the race quickly, that could deter some of the others.
The Republican bench here also has many wannabe representatives. Derrick Anderson, a former Green Beret who ran in 2022 and came in second in the Republican primary, is already in. State Sen. Bryce Reeves, who came in third in the 2022 Republican primary, is also interested. State Sen. Tara Durant just won a competitive race in Fredericksburg, but she is already thinking about a promotion. Biotech investor Bill Moher is not in elective office, but he has the money to compete. There may be others as well.
There is plenty of time for the invisible primary to play out. The filing deadline is April 4, 2024. The district is in the D.C. media market, which makes it very expensive. Candidates who are not able to raise vast amounts of money won't have a chance. Foy raised $5 million in her 2021 race, so she will probably make the cut.
There are many federal employees in the district. If there is a government shutdown in January or February, they are going to be affected. If they blame the Republicans for the shutdown, that could tilt the race strongly to whomever the Democrats ultimately nominate. (V)