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Abigail Spanberger

Spanberger keeps leadership role despite governor run

Rep. Abigail Spanberger’s (D-Va.) official announcement this week that she was running for governor of Virginia got us thinking – would the outspoken Democrat continue as the battleground representative in House Democratic leadership?

The answer? Spanberger isn’t going anywhere and intends to remain in her role as she finishes her term in Congress.

“Listen, I’m serving my term the same as anyone else who might be leaving at some point,” Spanberger said.

The Virginia gubernatorial elections are in the fall of 2025, so Spanberger announced she wouldn’t run for reelection to the House in 2024. But the three-term lawmaker isn’t stepping down from her seat early, either.

The Virginia Democrat was elected by her Frontline and Red-to-Blue seat peers as their voice at the Democratic leadership table in late 2022. The newly created role was the brainchild of Rep. Susie Lee (D-Nev.), who wanted to ensure the most vulnerable House Democrats had a member advocating for their perspective inside the leadership.

Some Democrats remarked to us that Spanberger’s lack of a reelection campaign may free her up to better focus on helping fellow endangered members. This line of thinking was behind the decision to select a non-vulnerable member — Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) — for DCCC chair following former Chair Sean Patrick Maloney’s 2022 defeat.

Spanberger defeated Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) in the internal election for battleground leadership representative last year. Spanberger’s job performance has earned positive reviews from her colleagues, and her fellow Frontliners are wishing her well in her run.

“She’s done an awesome job,” Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) told us. “I couldn’t think of somebody better to go kick ass in Virginia.”

“I hope she wins for governor,” Cartwright said. “She’ll be terrific. This is a born leader and I’m really pulling for her.”

— Max Cohen

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