Rep. Abigail Spanberger beat Republican challenger Yesli Vega after holding a narrow lead in the race for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.
Spanberger defeated Vega, who was hoping to be the first Latina in Virginia’s congressional delegation. Redistricting forced Spanberger to defend a seat in a district that does not overlap with her current one.
Spanberger, a Spanish-speaking former CIA officer, ran several Spanish-language TV and newspaper ads that focused on her platform, aiming to create well-paying jobs and reduce prices at both grocery stores and gas pumps.
The race between Spanberger and Vega made national attention after the Cook Political Report changed the race from “lean Democratic” to “toss-up” two weeks before Election Day. The seat was one of many that could affect which party takes control over the House.
However, Spanberger was able to rally enough voters to her side to clinch the seat.
The representative had continuously pointed out Vega’s “extremist” views, especially on the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Spanberger said previously she would support Congress in codifying Roe v. Wade if Democrats maintain control.
Vega gained national attention for her campaigning with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and an endorsement from former President Donald Trump — something her office has not publicly acknowledged.
Spanberger outspent Vega during the election, raising $7.7 million and spending $7.4 million, as of Sept. 30. Vega raised $2.4 million and spent $1.9 million.