Democrat incumbent Abigail Spanberger, who worked in the CIA before Congress, is poised to lose her 7th District seat on Capitol Hill under new maps released by Virginia’s redistricting committee. Once finalized, the maps are expected to leave at least one Congressional Democrat out in the cold as heavily gerrymandered districts are more evenly redrawn.
The new district lines come from a proposed map drawn by two Special Masters appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court as part of a new redistricting process that eliminates partisan gerrymandering by the General Assembly. The new map, or something very similar, is expected to be approved and in effect for the 2022 midterm elections with a projected five districts leaning Democrat, five districts leaning Republican, and one district appearing to be a true toss-up.
Spanberger’s current 7th District is effectively dissolved under the new maps, leaving her home in Glen Allen within the boundaries of an expanded 1st District, safely represented by Republican Rob Wittman. The 7th District itself goes north, to safe Democrat territory, but far removed from Spanberger.
Redistricting update: The next step in the redistricting process will be public comment sessions on Dec 15th and 17th. This is a new process, and we will provide updates as we have them.
— Abigail Spanberger (@SpanbergerVA07) December 11, 2021
Republican-leaning areas of the former 7th look poised to be absorbed into the 10th, making that district, currently represented by far-left Democrat Jennifer Wexton of Loudoun County, a true 50-50 toss-up.
Additionally, the new map adds Republican leaning turf to the state’s 2nd District, one of the most competitive in the nation. That seat is currently held by China-tied Democrat and 1/6 committee member Elaine Luria.
Some on the left have bemoaned the new boundaries as a form of sexism, seeming to claim that Spanberger and her female colleagues are victims of a political conspiracy among map makers to remove Democrat women from office.
“It seems to be very hurtful for the three Virginia women,” said 8th District Democrat Don Beyer. “I know we’re not supposed to have elected officials pick their voters, but it is unfortunate the way they’re drawn that incumbents like Abigail Spanberger, who had a difficult district to begin with, is tossed in a completely different district,” Beyer complained.
Despite his crying foul over redistricting having an impact on female Representatives, Beyer has not appeared to offer any of the three affected women his safe Democrat seat in Congress.
While the new district boundaries have not yet been approved, they appear to be the most likely scenario for 2022, when much like in the recent Virginia elections, a red wave is expected to greatly makeover the state’s political landscape.
The Virginia Supreme Court will reportedly make their decision on the maps following sessions of public comment on December 15th and 17th, something Spanberger is encouraging her supporters to participate in to help her stay in Congress, though even if the district lines were to remain exactly the same, her seat would almost surely be in jeopardy.
While the GOP long had a strangle hold on the old 7th District, Spanberger was narrowly elected in 2018 after years of demographic changes to the Richmond suburbs. In 2020, she barely won re-election and only did so after officials miraculously found 15,000 Democrat votes on a thumb drive, giving her the edge over Republican challenger Nick Freitas.