Home Spanberger, McClellan take victory laps on 2023 Virginia results
Politics, Virginia

Spanberger, McClellan take victory laps on 2023 Virginia results

Chris Graham
virginia politics
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Democrats Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer McClellan represent Virginia in Congress. At least one, maybe both, have their eyes on the 2025 gubernatorial election cycle.

We know that Spanberger, who flipped the red Seventh District in 2018, defeating Dave Brat, who had upset former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor four years earlier, has designs on the Democratic Party nomination in 2025.

McClellan, who won a special election earlier this year in the Fourth District to fill the term of the late Donald McEachin, ran for the Democratic nomination in 2021, losing to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who went on to run one of the more head-scratching campaigns in modern Virginia political history on his way to losing to political newcomer Glenn Youngkin.

Chris Graham on the 2023 Virginia elections

Youngkin, his eyes on the 2024 Republican presidential race, needed the GOP to win majorities in Tuesday’s state legislative races to buttress his case as the establishment alternative to former President Donald Trump.

His failure means he’s out of the running for 2024, and because Virginia prevents governors from running for re-election, he’s a lame duck who will have to spend his last two years in Richmond working with Democrats to be able to get anything done.

In the meantime, candidates will be lining up on both sides of the political divide to position themselves to be the next governor.

Which brings us to the statements in our inbox from Spanberger and McClellan commenting on Tuesday’s election results.

First, to Spanberger:

“Virginians sent a clear message — when our fundamental rights are under attack, when some politicians are more focused on fanning the flames of division than getting things done, and when dysfunction threatens to bring Virginia’s progress to a halt, we don’t sit on the sidelines,” Spanberger sai in her statement.

“Virginia Democrats won, because we listened to the needs of our communities and promised to deliver results. And we brought people together,” she went on. “I know from personal experience just how much hard work and dedication it takes to win competitive races — and I know that Democrats will bring this same level of determination to Richmond. Today is a bright day for the future of our Commonwealth.”

The release from Spanberger noted that her leadership PAC, SPAN PAC, “supported and contributed to more than 80 Democratic candidates and organizations at the state and local levels.”

We looked it up, and according to the Virginia Public Access Project, SPAN PAC made contributions totaling $85,245 in the 2023 election cycle.

Next, to McClellan:

“Congratulations to Virginia House Democrats and Virginia Senate Democrats on winning full Democratic control of the legislature,” McClellan said. “Over the past years, Virginia Democrats have passed landmark bills to move our Commonwealth forward, from the Reproductive Health Protection Act to the Virginia Clean Economy Act to the Voting Rights Act of Virginia. Governor Youngkin and Virginia legislative Republicans made this campaign about undoing our progress – and voters clearly rejected their extreme MAGA policies. I’m hopeful that Governor Youngkin will abandon attempts to turn back the clock, and instead work together with Democratic leaders in Richmond to make our Commonwealth safer, more affordable and create opportunity for everyone in every community.

“Tuesday’s results were a huge victory for progress in Virginia. This election sends a message to Republican candidates everywhere in 2024: It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing a red MAGA hat or a red sweater vest — if you try to take away our reproductive or voting rights, we are going to stop you,” McClellan said.

Let the 2025 governor’s race begin.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].