What to know for the June 12 Primary between Abigail Spanberger & Dan Ward

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Posted by Brandon Jarvis

Elections are being held in Virginia on June 12 to finalize party nominees for the November general election. The biggest statewide race to watch is the Republican Primary for the Senate seat to face the incumbent Tim Kaine (D).

Nick Freitas and Corey Stewart are the frontrunners and they have both caused some friction.

Stewart is a strong supporter of President Trump, so this will be a decent gauge of where Republicans in Virginia stand on Trump and his supporters. Freitas is a state Delegate that is fairly new to state politics. He is viewed as being more moderate than Stewart, but he also has show his distaste for the left by suggesting on the House floor that the  ‘abortion industry’ and ‘broken homes’ contribute to mass shootings

But in Central Virginia, the election to watch is the Democratic Primary between Abigail Spanberger and Dan Ward for the District 07 seat in the United States House of Representatives.

Ward and Spanberger are competing to face the Republican incumbent Dave Brat in November. This district has always been reliable to Republicans, but with a lack of visibility from Brat mixed with his support of President Trump, his supporters are not easy to find within the district. He beat Eileen Bedell by 15 points in 2016, but political analysts have given Democrats a much better shot this go around.

Abigail Spanberger

Abigail Spanberger is a former C.I.A. Operations Officer, that notes she decided to run for office on the day that Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Spanberger is a UVA graduate that grew up in Short Pump, Va.

Abigail expressed to Richmond 2Day her desire to stay connected to the district and work for all of her constituents. “If elected my priority would be to make sure that I am listening to people across this district. This is a very mixed district as far as Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. I personally feel that elected officials have a responsibility to answer to all of his or her constituents to make sure it is known why they vote the way they do.

Abigail was featured alongside other influential women on the Cover of TIME Magazine – it was for an article titled “The Avengers,” – which is a profile on women running for office across the country. The TIME article features the Spanberger candidacy as one of the  “Top Ten Races to Watch”.

Back in August, we talked to her about multiple issues. Spanberger is a UVA graduate, so we asked her about her thought on what happened in Charlottesville less than two weeks before we spoke to her: “As an alumna of UVa, it was really really difficult to watch neo-nazis and klansmen walk thru the streets of the University. Particularly knowing that so many of them had come from all over the country to basically bully a town that I love.  From a national perspective, as a Virginian and as an American, I think that we have to take Charlottesville as a point of reflection. We cannot deny that significant racism exists in this country. We cannot deny that there are significant problems that we need to address head on.  I think for many people it was stunning to see those people walking down the streets.”

Abigail Spanbergers statement on the recent Medicaid Expansion in Virginia: “Today, the Virginia General Assembly took the long-overdue step of expanding Medicaid and providing life-saving healthcare to nearly 400,000 Virginians, including tens of thousands in the 7th District. ​This historic vote signals a sea change in how we do business here in the Commonwealth, and I am heartened to know that we will no longer be satisfied by half measures that deny our fellow Virginians the basic right to quality healthcare. I would like to thank the many activists, advocacy organizations, and forward-thinking elected officials who made it their mission to save lives, reduce costs and put people above politics.”

Some of Spanberger’s stances on issues:

  1. Healthcare – She wants everyone to have access to quality, affordable healthcare
  2. Gun Violence Prevention – bump stock ban, background checks on all gun sales updatedcassault weapons ban
  3. Drug crisis – stop treating drug addiction as a crime
  4. Economy – wants to ensure that workforce training meets the needs of the changing economy
  5. Tax Reform –  A tax system simpler and fair that strengthens the middle class.

Read more about Abigail Spanberger’s platform here.

Dan Ward

Dan Ward is a former marine and an advisor to the State Department during Barack Obama’s presidency. Dan is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, he then flew jets for the Marine Corps in combat areas. His time at the State Department included him running cooperative defense programs in Syria and Ukraine.

Ward says that he is running for Congress because serving his country is in his blood. Dan now lives on a farm with his wife in Orange County.

Ward has taken direct aim at Donald Trump in recent days, just releasing an ad referring to Trump as a dictator. “I know something about dictators who tell you what you want to hear, use you, and leave you with nothing.” Ward says, “Tweets and threats aren’t going to provide affordable healthcare or create jobs.”

Dan Ward also gave Richmond 2Day a statement when Virginia passed Medicaid Expansion: “Six years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that states could choose whether to participate in Medicaid expansion. Six months ago, Virginia elected a new governor and an incredible number of new legislators. A few hours ago, 400,000 more Virginians just got a lot closer to health insurance. Today we all just got reminded that elections matter.”

In another ad, Dan speaks on how the recession effected him and his family: “In 2008 I was a reservist and commercial pilot for Continental when the economy collapsed. Thousands of pilots were furloughed and I found myself without a job. There I was, a veteran. A pilot. And my family had to make the tough choice between paying the mortgage or paying for healthcare.”

Some of Dan Ward stances on issues

  1. Veterans – improving VA system, ensuring Benefits are received,
  2. Healthcare – affordable, quality access for all Americans
  3. Opioids epidemic – supports declaring opioid epidemic a national emergency for more funding
  4. Economy – encourage growth of unions, policy ensuring a livable wage
  5. Gun Control – Supports assault rifle ban

You can read the rest of Dan Ward’s platform here.

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