From Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07)’s reelection campaign:
NEW: Reasons Why Prince William County Voters are Voting Against Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger has been greeting voters at Prince William County’s Woodbridge early voting location throughout the 45 days of early voting in Virginia. There, Spanberger introduced herself to Virginians and talked about the issues that mattered most to voters – like lowering costs, protecting the right to choose, and defending our democracy.
In new reporting today from the Prince William Times, Prince William County voters sounded off on the reasons they were supporting Spanberger – and opposing Yesli Vega, a member of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
John and Bettina Bennis – of Woodbridge – discussed Vega’s pledge to shut down the government if elected to Congress and Vega’s alignment with very extreme figures on the right:
- Among those standing in line were John and Bettina Bennis, also of Woodbridge. John is a retired Army soldier who has transitioned to working for a government contractor. Bettina is a teacher.
- In years past, John Bennis said, the two used to cancel others’ votes out, but not anymore.
- This year, he said, they were both voting for Spanberger in an effort “to keep the country from taking a radical turn.”
- “When you look at some of the Trump supporters and some of the things they believe in … and what they’re willing to do to put these measures in place, my perception is they are more willing to step in to change our political process,” John Bennis said.
- When asked if he was referring to the violent, pro-Trump protest on Jan. 6, Bennis said, “Yes.”
- “I agree with him,” Bettina Bennis said. “Right now, our nation is so divided, and you don’t know who you can talk to anymore and what you can say and what you can’t say.”
- “This election is going to lay the foundation for our politics and which way this country is going,” he said. “If it’s a split Congress, we’ll go back to the point where we can’t get anything done.”
- John Bennis said he also worries a warring Congress could result in another government shutdown. The last time it happened in 2019, his employer kept everyone on staff, but he said he knew other contractors who went without pay or were laid off.
Robert and Laura Smith of Woodbrige expressed their concerns that Vega is just another extremist trying to gain the attention of the fringe of our politics:
- Robert Smith, 55, and his wife Laura Smith, 56, of Woodbridge, said they are most concerned about “the radicalization of people in the country” and for that reason are voting for Spanberger.
- “I’m not nervous, but I do worry that if somebody like [Spanberger] doesn’t get elected, we’ll have someone who is a bit more radical,” Robert Smith said. And that concerns him, he said, “because there’s no limits anymore on what people are saying right now because even if it’s not true, it’s still being said.”
Michael Leyva, 21, of Woodbridge, says Vega’s pledge for a nationwide abortion ban inspired him to vote:
- While standing in line to vote early at the Woodbridge DMV Saturday afternoon, Michael Leyva, 21, of Woodbridge, said the No. 1 issue on his mind this year is abortion rights, which is why he said he planned to vote for incumbent U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D) over her Republican challenger Yesli Vega.
- “I don’t think that’s anybody’s decision to make other than the woman and her doctor,” Leyva said. The right to choose, he added, “has been 50 years in the making and now it’s just gone, like, poof!”
Melissa Chapman, 34, of Woodbridge, a new mother, reiterated the concerns of Leyva:
- Melissa Chapman, 34, of Woodbridge, said she’s most interested in protecting the U.S. voting system and democracy more broadly.
- But she said she also planned to vote for Spanberger because preserving women’s rights to have an abortion is the most critical issue for her this year.
- “I had a baby this year and had complications, and I worry that if I were in a different state, would I have access to the care that I needed?” she said.
Maria, a Veteran from Woodbridge, said the need to protect our democracy drove her to the polls:
- Maria, a 63-year-old veteran from Woodbridge who declined to give her last name, said there is only one thing driving her to the polls this year: “democracy, democracy, democracy.”
- Maria said she’s most concerned about the country’s ability to have free and fair elections and that everything else is secondary. For that reason, Maria said she is supporting Spanberger.
- “What is happening right now is scary for my kids and my grandkids,” she added. “It’s an unfortunate situation.”
Spanberger – a former federal law enforcement officer and CIA case officer – is building a broad coalition in Congress to deliver real results for Virginia’s families. Spanberger has helped lead negotiations with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to pass the bipartisan infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Honoring our PACT Act, among others.
Spanberger was recently endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier this year, Spanberger was ranked the most bipartisan Member of Congress from Virginia and one of the most bipartisan Members of Congress overall.
Spanberger is the only pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, and pro-privacy candidate in the race for Virginia’s Seventh Congressional District.