Abigail Spanberger wins 7th District Democratic primary; will face Congressman Brat

HENRICO, Va. -- Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA operative, soundly defeated Dan Ward to win the 7th Congressional District primary.

With more than 72 percent of the vote Tuesday, Spanberger will face Congressman Dave Brat in November.

“Tonight’s results prove that when we center our politics around our shared values and commitment to service and integrity, our friends and neighbors will rise to the occasion and make their voices heard,” Spanberger said at her victory party. “After 11 months, more than 100 meet and greets, and thousands of miles driven across the district, I am humbled and honored to accept the Democratic nomination.”

Ward conceded the race in a tweet saying he has full confidence that Spanberger has "what it takes to beat Dave Brat in November."

Spanberger said in a CBS 6 interview that the 2018 election is about "changing the conversation in Washington."

"It's about electing leaders to was who are focused on representing the interests of their constituents and working across the aisle to really understand the problems facing the district -- and the nation -- and working to solve those problems," Spanberger said.

She said the number one issue voters want to talk about in Virginia is health care and rising costs and increasing premiums.

Virginia Democrats are hopeful that recent successes in parts of Chesterfield and Henrico will help the winner take the seat from the two-term congressman, who has handily won each election.

Brat, a college professor at Randolph-Macon, created a political earthquake in the 2014 primaries when he beat out the number two Republican in the House, Eric Cantor.  Despite being outraised $5 million by Cantor, Brat secured a 9-point lead over his opponent. He won re-election in 2016 by almost 16 points, and Trump won the 7th by six points.