Incumbents Jennifer Wexton and Abigail Spanberger, both Democrats, held onto their seats in their respective U.S. House races against Republican challengers in Northern Virginia, NBC News projected.
In Virginia's House District 10, Wexton defeated Hung Cao, and in House District 7, Spanberger won against Yesli Vega, NBC News projected.
The outcomes of Tuesday's hotly contested races were expected to send a message about whether the Northern Virginia suburbs were still tinged blue, or if the red wave revived by Gov. Glenn Youngkin last year had staying power. With both apparent winners now set to serve third terms, those areas are remaining blue.
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Virginia's U.S. House District 7: Spanberger (D) Defeats Vega (R)
Abigail Spanberger ran against Republican challenger Yesli Vega in House District 7, a newly drawn district that now encompasses much of Prince William County and extends through Stafford, Spotsylvania, Culpeper and Orange counties, plus King George County to the south.
Spanberger, in her victory speech, also urged her supporters to set partisanship aside.
“Tonight we must recommit ourselves to the cause of our country, to the communities we live in and to our neighbors, whether they align with us politically or not,” Spanberger said.
Spanberger campaigned on abortion rights, running ads that highlighted comments from Vega that expressed doubt about whether women could become pregnant from rape.
In 2020, Spanberger beat her Republican opponent, Nick Freitas, by just 8,000 votes. Her opponent this time, Vega, has been on the Prince William Board of Supervisors since 2018. Vega was previously an officer with the Alexandria and Manassas Park police departments and the Prince William Sheriff’s Office and is currently a reserve deputy.
On Monday night, both candidates finished their push in Prince William County, which is home to more than 30% of voters in the district.
Spanberger acknowledged that she'd always been locked in close elections, and this one was no different. But she said she had been encouraged by early voting data.
Vega, however, had one built-in advantage there: She's a Prince William County supervisor. And Youngkin added fuel to Vega's bid, leading several rallies on her behalf. His pitch to voters: Keep the red wave going and make some history in the process.
"We are going to elect the first Hispanic American from Virginia into Congress," Youngkin vowed Sunday.
Vega's continued focus was on inflation and the economy.
"We gotta reign in wasteful spending," Vega said during her campaign. "Everybody is talking about how they are feeling it in their pocketbooks, whether pumping gas or putting food on the table."
Virginia's U.S. House District 10: Wexton (D) Defeats Cao (R)
NBC News projects that incumbent Jennifer Wexton won against Republican Hung Cao in House District 10, of which Loudoun County comprises the largest portion, with Prince William County making up the second largest.
Cao conceded to Wexton on Tuesday night and said it was too early to determine if he'll run again in the future, saying it "takes a toll" on family.
Wexton is a former prosecutor and member of the Virginia General Assembly. Cao’s family fled Vietnam as refugees, and he went on to have a decorated career in Navy Special Ops, rising to the rank of captain before retiring.
During a debate between the two, Wexton criticized Cao’s opposition to both aid for Ukraine and the infrastructure bill, which passed Congress with support from 13 House Republicans and 19 Senate Republicans. Wexton also spotlighted Cao's support for a near-total abortion ban. Cao attacked Wexton as a Pelosi rubber stamp who has supported too much reckless spending. Like Vega, he spotlighted the need for parents to have a stronger voice in school policy.
Loudoun County is the heart of the 10th District where Wexton and Cao squared off, and has been ground zero in a national debate over how schools address issues like sexuality and transgender rights. Cao sought to tap into anger from conservatives who argue that parents' role in teaching values to their children is being supplanted.
Wexton addressed the issue in her victory speech, saying “those trying to turn parents against kids and their teachers and using students as political pawns are getting in the way of our children getting on the path to success.”
A day before the election, first lady Dr. Jill Biden and Sen. Tim Kaine joined Wexton on the campaign trail, while Cao appeared with Youngkin, as well as Virginia's attorney general and lieutenant governor.
The candidates and their supporters drove home the message that they were polar-opposite choices.
Youngkin shared a message that he said was propelling a red wave: "This is Loudoun County, where it all started," he said. "This is ground zero for the parents matter movement."
The first lady showed her support for Wexton, telling voters on Monday, "What happens here tomorrow won't just set the course for the future of Virginia. You'll help decide the future of our country as well.”
Wexton said voters were afraid of what Republicans are bringing to Washington.
"They're afraid of the authoritarian creep that we're seeing in this country; they're afraid of being divided more than brought together," Wexton said. "They want somebody who's gonna bring us together, which I guarantee I'll be able to do."
Her opponent was also leaning into fear to motivate voters, comparing Democratic leadership to his native country of Vietnam.
"I've escaped this ideology of Marxism, socialism and communism, and now they disguise it by another name called equity," Cao said.
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