Democrat Spanberger knocks off Brat in Virginia

Democrat Spanberger knocks off Brat in Virginia
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Democratic newcomer Abigail Spanberger knocked off incumbent Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) on Tuesday night, dealing a blow to House Republicans and President TrumpDonald John TrumpShutdown puts dozens of federal transportation safety probes on hold Howard Schultz advisers exploring possible 2020 independent bid: report Special counsel issues rare statement disputing BuzzFeed's Cohen report MORE.

Brat has been a close Trump ally and received an endorsement from the president just days ago. He also had been seen as a future leader of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus.

But the energy was on Spanberger’s side. The former CIA agent raised a whopping $3.6 million in the third quarter, three times as much as Brat. And recent polling showed Brat and Spanberger in a dead heat even though Trump had won the 7th district by 6 percentage points in 2016 and Brat trounced his Democratic opponent by 15 points that year.

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National media outlets have flocked to the district, which includes some Richmond suburbs and rural swaths of central Virginia.

Spanberger, 39, will likely join the moderate Blue Dog Coalition in the House. She has previously said she'll work with Trump on areas of agreement.

Brat, a former economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, is no stranger to surprise upsets. He first garnered national media attention in 2014 when he defeated then-Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorOusted GOP lawmaker David Brat named dean at Liberty University business school Trump, GOP seek to shift blame for shutdown to Pelosi Hoyer: Ryan’s legacy a mix of decency and debt MORE (R-Va.) in his GOP primary. It’s considered one of the greatest political upsets in congressional history.