Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a centrist Democrat from Virginia, announced Monday that she will not seek reelection to the House but instead will run for Virginia governor in 2025.
Spanberger’s decision to leave her congressional seat creates a tough job for Democrats who will have to defend her competitive district to have a shot at retaking the majority. Her bid comes a week after Virginia Democrats retook full control of the General Assembly after two years of divided power.
POLITICO first reported Spanberger’s intention to run for governor in July. In a campaign video released early Monday, Spanberger said she hopes to lower prescription drug prices, grow the middle class and ease inflation.
“While some politicians in Richmond focus on banning abortion and books, what they’re not doing is helping people,” Spanberger said in the video. “I know how to bring people together and get real things done that improve lives. That’s why I’m running for governor.”
Spanberger, 44, is the first person to jump into the race to succeed Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who is ineligible to run again since the Virginia Constitution prohibits a governor from serving two consecutive terms. POLITICO reported earlier this month that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has begun assembling a campaign team and plans to launch his own gubernatorial run by the end of the year.
Spanberger, a former CIA officer and law enforcement officer for the U.S. Postal Service, first won her seat by a narrow margin five years ago. The three-term congresswoman has been a leading moderate voice in the Democratic party on issues from fiscal reform to police funding.
She also brings her skill as an immense fundraiser to the table, and could bring a network of national donors to the race. In the 2022 cycle, she raised upward of $9 million.
“Even in this moment of deep division, we can seize the opportunity. I am running to serve all Virginians in every community across our Commonwealth because it’s about time we do what’s right for everyone,” Spanberger said in the video.