The Race to Replace Youngkin Gets Going

Democrat Spanberger won't run for House reelection, will try to win Virginia governor race in 2025
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2023 7:51 AM CST
Spanberger to Leave House, Run for Virginia Governor
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., speaks during an interview at her congressional offices in Washington, Feb. 8, 2023.   (AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File)

Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger won a close reelection race in Virginia last year that was widely seen as a bellwether contest with national implications. The 44-year-old, however, won't try to win a fourth term next year—on Monday, the former CIA officer announced in a video that she will leave the House after her current term and instead run for governor of Virginia in 2025, reports the Washington Post. She aims to succeed GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who can't run again because state law prohibits back-to-back gubernatorial terms, notes the AP. Youngkin himself is the subject of intense political speculation, with supporters seeing him as a contender for the White House in 2028, if not 2024. (Though last week's state election results didn't help his cause.)

Spanberger represents a district in northern Virginia and positions herself as a moderate on some issues (she has criticized the "defund the police" slogan and called out President Biden on spending) and liberal on others (she won her last reelection with a strong focus on abortion rights). Plenty of sites already are previewing Virginia's 2025 gubernatorial race, which is expected to be both expensive (Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe spent a combined $137 million in 2021) and bruising. Politico reports she is expected to face Richmond Mayor Levar Stone for the Democratic nomination, while Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares are expected to run on the Republican side, per Axios. (More Abigail Spanberger stories.)

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