Abigail Owen Biography & Facts
Abigail Anne Spanberger (née Davis, August 7, 1979) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 7th congressional district since 2019. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Her district includes most of the northern suburbs of Richmond, as well as some exurban territory around Fredericksburg.
Spanberger defeated Republican incumbent Dave Brat in 2018, ending a 36-year hold on the district by the Republican Party. She was reelected to a second term in 2020. She has been categorized as a moderate Democrat by commentators.
Early life and education
Abigail Spanberger was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, on August 7, 1979. When she was 13, her family relocated to the Short Pump area in Henrico County, outside Richmond, Virginia. She attended John Randolph Tucker High School. Spanberger was later a page for Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Robb.Spanberger earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from a joint program between the GISMA Business School in Germany and Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.
In 2002 and 2003, Spanberger taught English literature as a substitute teacher at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia.
In the early 2000s, Spanberger worked as a federal postal inspector on money laundering cases, as well as intercepting shipments of illegal drugs into the United States.In 2006, Spanberger joined the Central Intelligence Agency as an operations officer. She worked overseas on classified matters of national security that included intelligence gathering on terrorism and nuclear proliferation.In 2014, Spanberger left the CIA and entered the private sector. She was hired by Royall & Company (now EAB), where she worked to help academic institutions diversify their student bodies.She was appointed to serve on the Virginia Governor's Fair Housing Board, which enforces antidiscrimination laws in housing around the Commonwealth.
U.S. House of Representatives
In July 2017, Spanberger announced her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in Virginia's 7th congressional district in the 2018 election against incumbent Republican, Dave Brat, a Tea Party movement member. She made the final decision to run after the Republican majority House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On June 12, 2018, Spanberger defeated Dan Ward in the primary election for the Democratic Party nomination with 73% of the vote, receiving more votes than any other candidate in the Virginia primaries that day. Her campaign out-raised Brat's.In August, Spanberger became subject to a smear campaign conducted by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC closely aligned with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. The smear campaign, which attempted to tie her to terrorism, was based on an SF-86 application she completed to obtain security clearance, which was inappropriately released in breach of privacy rules. She won the seat by a narrow margin on November 6, defeating Brat by just over 6,600 votes. While Brat won eight of the district's ten counties, Spanberger dominated the two largest counties, Henrico and Chesterfield, by a combined margin of over 30,000 votes.Spanberger's victory ended a 36-year hold on the district by the GOP. Tom Bliley had won the district, then numbered as the 3rd (it has been the 7th since 1993) in 1983, and was succeeded by future House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2001. Brat defeated Cantor in the 2014 Republican primary. The district had been one of the first in the South to turn away from its Solid South Democratic roots. Supporters of the Byrd Organization, the conservative Democratic machine founded by former Governor and U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, had begun splitting their tickets as early as the 1930s. The district had not supported a Democrat for president since Harry S. Truman in 1948. As a measure of how strongly Republican this district had been, Spanberger was only the third Democrat to cross the 40 percent mark at the congressional level since 1984. In a visit to the district, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon described it as "an absolute bellwether of the entire country," adding that losing the district would mean the GOP losing control of the House.
Spanberger faced a close reelection contest in 2020 against State Delegate Nick Freitas, who represents much of the congressional district's northern portion. She ultimately prevailed with 51 percent of the vote to Freitas's 49 percent. Freitas carried eight of the district's ten counties, as Brat had done two years earlier. However, Spanberger prevailed by winning the district's shares of Henrico and Chesterfield counties by a combined 43,400 votes, five times her overall margin of 8,400 votes. She was also boosted by Joe Biden narrowly carrying the district; Biden is the first Democrat to win what is now the 7th since 1948.
On November 5, 2020, days after winning reelection by a margin of 1.8%, Spanberger criticized the Democratic Party's strategy for the 2020 elections in a phone call with other Democratic caucus members that was subsequently leaked. Calling the elections "a failure" from a Congressional standpoint, she singled out Republican attack ads decrying "socialism" and the movement to "defund the police" as prime reasons the Democratic Party lost seats in swing districts. She argued that Democrats should watch Republican ads before deciding how to talk about issues and "not ever use the word 'socialist' or 'socialism' ever again".CNN political editor Chris Cillizza described Spanberger's remarks as "some hard truth" for the Democratic Party, adding that in order to succeed in the 2022 and 2024 elections, the party should "listen to the likes of Spanberger" instead of pushing for "the boldest possible progressive legislation". Spanberger's remarks were disputed by Pelosi, who noted that Democrats kept the House, and progressive Representative Rashida Tlaib, who said the Democratic Party should "study the results" before dismissing progressives who represent their districts. The Washington Post digital editor James Downie criticized Spanberger's view, remarking that if a losing officeholder "couldn't manage to tie his or her Republican opponent to almost a quarter of a million COVID-19 deaths in the United States, a tanked economy or a dozen other policy fiascos, that's the candidate's fault." Downie quoted progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who had noted in contrast that no swing-district House Democrat who co-sponsored Medicare-for-All lost their seat, and had remarked in response to Spanberger's comments that "not a single member of Congress that I'm aware of campaigned on socialism or defunding the police in this general election."
Spanberger was sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives for her first term on January 3, 2019. In the election for Speaker of the U.S.... Discover the Abigail Owen popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Abigail Owen books.