What’s next for Democrats as Abigail Spanberger enters race for Virginia governor?

Abigail Spanberger gestures during a political gathering. — X/@samuelcorum Rep Abigail Spanberger, the moderate Democrat declared on Monday that she would run for governor of Virginia in 2025 rather than compete for reelection to the House.

Democrats now have a difficult task ahead of them as they attempt to retake the majority by defending Spanberger’s competitive district in the wake of her decision to resign from her congressional position. 

A week after Virginia Democrats reclaimed total control of the General Assembly following two years of split authority, she is running for office.

Spanberger announced her desire to run for governor in July, first reported by Politico. She expressed her desire to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, expand the middle class, and reduce inflation in a campaign film that was made public early on Monday.

“While some politicians in Richmond focus on banning abortion and books, what they’re not doing is helping people,” Spanberger said in the video. “I know how to bring people together and get real things done that improve lives. That’s why I’m running for governor.”

Spanberger, 44, is the first candidate to enter the campaign to replace Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, who is not permitted to run again due to the Virginia Constitution’s ban on two terms in office. 

Levar Stoney, the mayor of Richmond, has started putting up a campaign staff and intends to announce his own bid for governor before the end of the year, according to a Politico story published earlier this month.

Five years ago, Spanberger, a former law enforcement officer for the USPS and CIA officer, narrowly won her seat in the first place. 

The three-term congresswoman has been a prominent moderate voice in the Democratic party on a range of topics, including financing for law enforcement and fiscal reform.

She may also introduce a network of national contributors to the campaign in addition to her great fundraising skills. In the cycle of 2022, she raised more than $9 million.

“Even in this moment of deep division, we can seize the opportunity. I am running to serve all Virginians in every community across our Commonwealth because it’s about time we do what’s right for everyone,” she said in the video.

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