After Democratic newcomer Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) decided not to challenge longstanding conservative stalwart Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA) in Virginia’s First District after redistricting, Wittman finds himself in a truncated seat more familiar to his Tidewater roots.
From Michael Martz with the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Wittman grew up in central Henrico — in the Chamberlayne Farms neighborhood — and attended Benedictine High School and parochial school in Richmond. So, he said he’s comfortable in the western Henrico and western Chesterfield County suburbs that are now part of the 1st under a congressional map that the Virginia Supreme Court approved in late December.
The new political map includes New Kent and almost all of Hanover County — both of which Wittman already represents — except for about 13,500 voters who were moved to the new 5th District, represented by Republican Bob Good.
The new district also restores portions of the Peninsula that Wittman had represented in the old 1st — the cities of Williamsburg and Poquoson, and York County — that were moved out in the 2011 congressional redistricting.
“It feels like I’m back home again, so it’s good,” Wittman said on Friday as he prepared to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act, which House Democrats approved, sending the $739 billion spending package to President Joe Biden as a political boost in the perilous midterm elections.
Wittman will be squaring off against longtime New Kent treasurer Herb Jones in the general election, who will be financed just enough to make VA-01 competitive to keep Wittman focused on his re-elect and out of the contentious VA-07 race where Spanberger is not only introducing herself to a new VA-07 but is simultaneously fending off a strong challenger’s race from Prince William County supervisor Yesli Vega.