In an extremely close election, Abigail Spanberger captured the 7th District’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives—one that had been in the hands of the Republican Party for almost 50 years.
She succeeded in this “unwinnable” campaign by focusing on the needs of the people in the district and the issues that affect their lives: Affordable and accessible health care, equitable tax policy and sustainable growth, infrastructure expansion like broadband that can bring economic and educational opportunities to our communities, protecting our natural resources and safe and nurturing well-funded public schools.
The message in her victory declaration was one of unity and working for all her constituents: “We are for ensuring the rights of all of our neighbors no matter who they are, where they live, who they love, what they look like, who they worship and where they’re from. We succeeded at the polls tonight because voters rejected the politics of hate, the politics of division and the politics of ideology. I am committed to bringing you the kind of responsive and accountable leadership you deserve.”
Culpeper citizen John Owens presciently posted this on the Culpeper Persisters’ Facebook page two hours before the polls closed on Election Day: “I think it’s important that we stop to look at the amazing, unifying force that Democrats in Culpeper county and central Virginia have become.”
“When I moved here in 2011, I did not feel this was a very welcoming place for a Democrat. We now have an active, vibrant, unified force for change that showed up en masse today to help take back a country For All and restore decency and common sense in government. In the last year, the (Culpeper County Democratic Committee), Persisters and other groups have mobilized in a way that I never thought I would see in this area.”
The Virginia Public Access Project’s (VPAP.org) analysis, comparing the 2016 presidential election with the 2018 midterms, showed that Democrats gained between 5 percent in the Lignum precinct and 21.7 percent in Willow Shade. The East Fairfax, Willow Shade and South Ridge precincts flipped from red to blue. West and East Fairfax, Eggbornsville, Browns Store and Brandy Station each increased their spreads more than 13 percent.
Change is coming to Culpeper, and though the Blue Wave may have merely lapped at its shores in this election, it is a fact that Abigail Spanberger won her seat in the House of Representatives by 6,587 votes. It is a fact that Culpeper County delivered to her 7,906 votes. Elections have consequences. Every vote matters.
Voters and poll greeters at each of the precincts again showed civility and friendliness toward each other despite differences in political opinions, proving again that Culpeper is a cut above the nastiness that has been going on in other parts of the country.
Culpeper’s Board of Elections and its very able registrar, James Clements, again proved that we have honest, open and fair elections here. Georgia and Florida could learn some lessons from Virginia.
There is some talk of perhaps having a bipartisan social gathering after the first of the year, to help show the way in solving problems in a spirit of compromise and to promote good governance and community well-being.
On Jan. 3, our newly elected congresswoman, Abigail Spanberger, will take office along with her colleagues, who will collectively transform the House of Representatives back to its proper Constitutional role as a check and balance to the executive branch. She will work for all of us, not just the ones who voted for her. We should all cheer her on.
Editor’s Note: this originally appeared in the Culpeper Star Exponent, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.
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