CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – A changing political climate in the Richmond suburbs is being credited for fueling Abigail Spanberger’s historic victory over Republican incumbent Dave Brat.
Unofficial results show that Spanberger defeated Brat by more than 6500 votes.
CBS 6 Political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth credits Chesterfield and Henrico County for putting the former C.I.A. operative over the edge.
“RVA is a very different political animal than it was 20 years ago,” said Holsworth. “Right now, we not only have a blue city in the city of Richmond. We now have a blue county in Henrico and a purple county in Chesterfield that certainly now has a blueish tint to it.”
In Chesterfield County, Spanberger had a 10,000-vote margin and a 13,000-vote margin in Henrico.
“This was a seat that was not easy to win,” said Holsworth. “While she was going to win in Henrico and Chesterfield, she really had to push up the margins in order to offset the tremendous advantage that Dave Brat was going to have in all the rural areas where Brat is popular, and Donald Trump is popular. At the end of the day.”
The 7th U.S. House District stretches from Culpeper south to Blackstone staying just west of the city of Richmond. Portions of includes Chesterfield, Henrico, and Spotsylvania counties.
The race was considered a “toss up” by political analysts despite the dominance of Republicans in the 7th District. In fact, with Spanberger’s win, a Democrat has been elected to the 7th District Congressional seat for the first time in 50 years.
“She managed to do that I think through hard work, raising a ton of money and also, however, with 3,000 volunteers who went out, got on the phones, knocked on doors, did everything they possibly could,” said Holsworth.
Spanberger celebrated her victory Tuesday night at her campaign party in Henrico County.
"We did it... We did it," said Spanberger. "I am honored to stand before you as the congresswoman-elect from Virginia's 7th District.”
Brat conceded the race Wednesday afternoon, saying “the voters have spoken.”
"The voters of the 7th District came out in record numbers for a mid-term election yesterday. While the registrars across the district are still reviewing the votes, it is looking like the voters have spoken in this race,” said Brat in a statement.
Spanberger's win capped off a huge night for female political candidates across the country. The J.R. Tucker graduate is one of 33 women newly elected to the House Tuesday.