Former staffer of Bob McDonnell launches challenge against Spanberger in Virginia

Former staffer of Bob McDonnell launches challenge against Spanberger in Virginia
© Greg Nash

Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerConservative group targets Spanberger, Luria in new ads ahead of reconciliation bill Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Meeks on being mistaken for a staffer: 'Glad I still blend in with the cool kids' MORE (D-Va.) gained another Republican challenger on Wednesday in what could end up being a highly competitive race in the commonwealth’s 7th Congressional District. 

Taylor Keeney, a nonprofit director and onetime press secretary to former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), released a digital launch video on Wednesday, tying Spanberger to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.). 

"The way I see it, there are two Abigail Spanbergers — candidate Spanberger, who will say anything to get elected, and Congresswoman Spanberger, deeply partisan, voting with Nancy Pelosi over 90 percent of the time," Keeney says in the video. 

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Keeney joins religious freedom advocate Tina Ramirez in challenging Spanberger from the Republican side.

Ramirez, who announced her candidacy earlier this month, previously challenged Spanberger last year but lost to state Del. Nick Freitas (R) in last year’s Republican nominating convention. 

Both Keeney and Ramirez have tied Spanberger, a moderate Democrat, to Pelosi. 

The general election race for the district is expected to be a competitive one. Spanberger first flipped the district in 2018, ousting conservative Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.). The seat had previously been held by a Republican for nearly 50 years. 

Republicans made it a top target in 2020, but Spanberger narrowly defeated Freitas by nearly 2 points.