Tracking the 7th district congressional race: Spanberger declares victory in race for Virginia’s district seat

Virginia Elections

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News continues to track the battle for Virginia’s 7th district congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

8:45 p.m. UPDATE: Nick Freitas is “thanking supporters and volunteers for their tireless work during this campaign season.”

Freitas did not concede, however, instead opting to wait until all votes are tallied through Friday.

The full statement read, “I want to thank all of my supporters and volunteers for their tireless work during this campaign season. Out of respect to them, the importance of this race, and the hundreds of thousands of votes that have yet to be canvassed in the district, our campaign will be waiting until the canvass officially concludes on Friday, at which time we will be making an appropriate statement. Thank you, as always, for your support.”

8:42 p.m. UPDATE: Abigail Spanberger tells 8News reporter Ben Dennis that she has not heard from opponent Nick Freitas after she declared herself victorious in the race for Virginia’s 7th district congressional. 8News asked the incumbent state representative if Freitas called to concede.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Spanberger spoke on recognizing a reporting issue for absentee ballots:

“What we had seen was the total numbers of people who had cast ballots in Henrico County, and then in the wee hours of the night several tens of thousands came—were released—the count was released, and there was a difference between the known number of people who were listed as having voted and the votes that were released. So it was good to see them fill out that discrepancy.”

When Spanberger was questioned on if these absentee ballots, reported to be on a memory stick and labeled “provisional,” gave her concern about the system in Henrico County to ensure those votes were counted:

“What we have in the system, through the system that any candidate has access to, is a list of all of the individuals who have cast ballots early by mail, that have actually returned them, those who requested mail and certainly those who have voted in person early. So, we knew the names and identities of in a more than 70,000 voters, and so, ensuring that all of those votes were counted was was I think the priority and certainly the priority clearly of the registrar as they released those additional numbers today.”

5:45 p.m. UPDATE: Abigail Spanberger declared herself victorious in the race for Virginia’s 7th district congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, following the addition of more than 5,000 absentee ballots from Spotsylvania and Henrico counties.

An emailed statement read: “Tonight, the Seventh District affirmed its commitment to leadership in Congress that puts Central Virginia first, works for everyone, and focuses on expanding opportunity for the next generation of Virginians. Serving the Seventh District in Congress has been my honor, and I look forward to continuing our work to strengthen and protect our communities.”

Just after 6 p.m., Spanberger shared on Twitter: “Thank you, #VA07. We did it!”

5:30 p.m. UPDATE: Abigail Spanberger’s lead in the state’s 7th district congressional race is growing, reports the Virginia Public Access Project. According to the latest information from the Department of Elections and the Associated Press, Spanberger leads by more than 5,100 votes after Henrico County posted more than 14,000 central absentee votes that were “overlooked” on Election Night.

Additionally, the Henrico registrar told the electoral board that the county has more than 7,000 ballot to count between today through Friday.

5 p.m. UPDATE: Abigail Spanberger appears to now be leading in the race for Virginia’s 7th district congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. As of 5 p.m., Spanberger was ahead with 50.40% (227,540) of the vote. Challenger Nick Freitas follows closely behind with 49.35% (222,406) of the votes.

3:31 p.m. UPDATE: U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger is in a close race with Republican Nick Freitas. Spanberger released a short message via social media platforms, urging voters to remain patient as tens of thousands of ballots continue to be counted.

2:35 p.m. UPDATE: The race for the 7th district seat has grown closer as the day goes on. According to the Virginia Department of Elections, just 563 votes stand between the candidates with Freitas in the lead. Nothing is final right now and votes could change dramatically as we wait for an alleged 21,000 unaccounted for ballots.

7:51 a.m. UPDATE: Spanberger is now behind Freitas by 712 votes.

4:13 a.m. UPDATE: Abigail A. Spanberger is currently down by .06 percent. Spanberger has won a total of 199,513 votes while Nick Freitas has 199,786 votes totaling 49.95 percent.

12:30 p.m. UPDATE: Abigail Spanberger sent out a statement on Twitter, “Our votes are our voices and every vote matters! As an update- Henrico, Chesterfield, Spotsylvania, and Powhatan haven’t yet reported their 220,000+ early votes, and across #VA07, there are thousands of pending mail-in ballots.” She then sent a second tweet thanking her supporters as they wait for every vote to be counted.

11:30 p.m. UPDATE: Nick Freitas says, “We want to make sure we have all the data in and the numbers are in. We are very confident in where we are at  I wouldn’t trade places in a heartbeat right now. And its important to me to make sure every ballot is counted, every vote taken into account before we declare victory.”

10:20 p.m. UPDATE: Based solely on Election Day voting and current totals Nick Freitas has the lead in Louisa, Culpepper, Orange, Goochland and Nottoway counties. Spanberger in not leading in any localities that have all precincts reporting yet.

At 11 p.m. early voting totals will be added and percentages are expected to change. Election results can be found here as they are tallied.

Abigail Spanberger and Nick Freitas are battling for Virginia’s 7th district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the past, Republicans have typically won the 7th district but in 2018 Spanberger was able to flip the seat blue for the first time in decades. The 7th covers portions of Chesterfield all the way up to Culpepper and Spotslyvania counties.

Spanberger is a former CIA agent who has been praised for her views on healthcare while army veteran Freitas has been celebrated by supporters for his views on gun legislation and confederate monuments.

8News spoke with both candidates today just hours before the polls close.

“I hope that they would consider voting for me,” Spanberger said. “I’ve been working for this district across our 10 counties, focused on lowering the cost of prescription drugs and focused on the issues that matter to this district.”

Freitas says he thinks the district is on the road to recovery right now. “I think we need to continue doing that, we don’t need to be raising taxes on families and we don’t need to be regulating small businesses out of existence,” Freitas said.

Political analysts say this race is one of the closest in the country.

8News will continue to provide updates on this. Reporter Talya Cunningham is at the Freitas watch party now and will also report from Spanberger’s smaller event with virtual options.

Election results will be available here as soon as they are announced.

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