Democrat Stewart Navarre drops congressional bid after home county is drawn into Spanberger’s district

Virginia Elections

Virginia’s new 7th Congressional District (photo courtesy of Va. Supreme Court)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Democrat who hoped to unseat Republican Rep. Rob Wittman in the 2022 midterms has dropped his congressional bid after his home county was drawn into the district held by Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

Stewart Navarre, a Marine veteran who worked in real estate and was the vice president of research at a medical technology company called MYnd Analytics, announced his plans to run for the 1st Congressional District seat in April.

But the county where Navarre lives, King George, is in the 7th Congressional District under Virginia’s new congressional map. While members of Congress don’t need to live in the district they represent, Navarre released a statement Friday sharing his plans to suspend his campaign.

“After discussion with friends and family I believe that it is in the best interests of our district, our country, and our democracy to support Representative Spanberger’s re-election to Congress,” Navarre said, who added that he shares a common vision for the future with Spanberger.

Spanberger will seek a third term in a new 7th District that stretches from Caroline County to Madison County. It also includes the city of Fredericksburg and Dale City in Prince William County.

Virginia’s new congressional and state legislative districts were approved by the Virginia Supreme Court in late December. The court was put in charge of the state’s political redistricting, a once-a-decade process of redrawing electoral districts with new census data, after a bipartisan commission failed to get through partisan squabbling to come to an agreement on new political maps.

The new 7th District no longer includes the western Henrico suburbs, where Spanberger lives, or the western Chesterfield suburbs. Those Richmond-area suburbs, considered Spanberger’s base during her first two congressional races, are now in Wittman’s 1st District.

Wittman, who has represented the 1st District since 2007, announced his plans to run for re-election in the redrawn district after the map was approved. “With the addition of Henrico County and Chesterfield County, I look forward to representing my childhood home,” Wittman wrote in a statement.

While Navarre won’t run in the new 7th District, it remains unclear whether any Democrats will look to challenge Spanberger for her seat. Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) said she was considering a run after the draft maps were released in mid-December.

When reached for the status of a potential run, a spokesperson for Guzman told 8News on Jan. 3 that there was no update. Other notable Democrats, including former gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Carroll Foy, have also been linked to the new 7th District.

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