Spanberger-Freitas race in Virginia swing district hinges on final absentee votes

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), left, gestures during a Chamber RVA sponsored candidate forum with Republican challenger Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper), right, in Richmond on Oct. 20. First-term Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) and Republican challenger Nick Freitas appeared locked in a tight race in Virginia’s 7th congressional district Wednesday, with tens of thousands of absentee ballots yet to be counted. Freitas, a state delegate, led by several hundred votes as Spotsylvania County worked to tally more than 30,000 remaining ballots, including a load that arrived Tuesday, according to General Registrar Kellie Acors. She said she expects to finish counting by Wednesday afternoon or evening. The Virginia Public Access Project also reported that Henrico County — where Spanberger has deep support — was having to double-check its absentee-ballot totals after a discrepancy was discovered. Spanberger and Freitas are competing in a closely watched swing district two years after Spanberger ousted Republican incumbent Dave Brat from the seat. National GOP groups and the Club for Growth PAC poured in millions of dollars to try to return the district to Republican hands, as Spanberger outraised Freitas by more than a 2-to-1 ratio. Freitas pushed a platform of limited government and free-market reforms to health care . A former Green Beret, he also tried to capitalize on Virginia Republicans’ angst over the state’s new gun restrictions , promising strong protection of Second Amendment rights. Spanberger, a former CIA officer and Postal Service investigator, presented herself as a moderate focused on issues affecting rural Americans. […]

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