Va. Rep. Spanberger enters Democratic leadership to represent swing-district lawmakers

Spanberger has long expressed frustrations with party leadership.

Updated: December 6, 2022 - 7:58pm

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Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger on Tuesday was elected to a new position in Democratic Party leadership from which she will represent lawmakers who sit in competitive districts.

Spanberger defeated Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright for the post of "battleground leader" by a 33-20 vote margin, the Washington Times reported. A member of the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate Democrats, Spanberger narrowly won reelection in November, beating back a challenge from Republican Yeslie Vega.

Nevada Democratic Rep. Susie Lee secured the support of the caucus to create the new post last week, arguing that the party's most vulnerable members deserved a seat at the table as they stand more to lose from the party's major decisions, should they prove unpopular.

"Leadership positions end up getting filled by people who are in safe seats because they have the time and the resources to be able to campaign and run for those positions," Lee said at the time. "I think it’s important to have the voice of your most vulnerable members at the leadership table."

Spanberger has long expressed frustrations with party leadership, asserting that they often ignore dissenting voices within the caucus. In September of this year, she renewed her call for new party leaders after House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer again delayed a bill that would require lawmakers to divest their stock portfolios or place them in a blind trust.

"This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it's yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known," she said at the time.

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