Spanberger declares run for Va. governor
Democratic congresswoman is first candidate to declare for 2025 race
U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger on Monday declared she is running for Virginia governor and will not seek another term in Congress. The Democrat, who is in her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, released a video announcing her bid.
Spanberger’s the first candidate to declare so far in the 2025 race, but in the Democratic field, she’s expected to be joined soon by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, and in the Republican field, Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears and Attorney Gen. Jason Miyares are likely candidates. Virginia is the only state in which a sitting governor is barred from seeking consecutive terms.
A former CIA officer and postal inspector who broke Republicans’ grip on the Virginia 7th congressional district in 2018, Spanberger is considered a moderate Democrat and is part of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House of Representatives. If elected, Spanberger would become Virginia’s first woman to serve as governor. Mary Sue Terry, the state’s former attorney general, ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic candidate for governor in 1993, losing to George Allen. Since then, no woman has won a major party’s nomination for Virginia governor.
“Today we find ourselves at a crossroads. Our country and our commonwealth are facing fundamental threats to our rights and our freedoms and to our democracy,” Spanberger said in the announcement. “While some politicians focus on banning abortion and books, what they’re not doing is helping people. I know how to bring people together and get real things done that improve lives. That’s why I’m running for governor.”
In her first two terms, Spanberger’s district covered parts of Richmond’s suburbs, but with the December 2021 redrawing, her district now includes Fredericksburg, Caroline County and part of Prince William County. In December 2022, Spanberger became the New Democrat Coalition’s battleground leader, focusing on getting Democrats elected in competitive districts, and she serves on the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Agriculture Committee.