RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump has endorsed Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat as the two-term congressman faces a strong challenge from a Democratic opponent.

Brat is locked in a tight race with Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer who is waging an aggressive campaign to unseat Brat in a traditionally Republican congressional district.

Brat, a former economics professor, stunned the political establishment in 2014 when he scored a surprising win over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the primary and went on to win the 7th District seat.

In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump called Brat one of the “hardest working” and “smartest” people in Washington.

Trump also tweeted that Brat is “strong on the Border, Crime, the Military, our Vets and the 2nd Amendment.”

“Dave has my Total Endorsement!”

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