Yesli Vega

Yesli Vega, a Republican candidate for the Virginia's 7th Congressional District, waves to supporters at a get-out-the-vote campaign at Harbor Grille in Woodbridge Monday.

Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega is one step closer to the U.S. Congress.

Vega prevailed in the six-way Republican primary Tuesday for the party’s nomination in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections. About 96% of precincts were reporting shorting after 9 p.m.

Vega will face Democratic U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger in November.

Vega received 10,731 votes, or 28.2%, across the district. She beat out Spotsylvania County attorney Derrick Anderson by 1,876 votes.

Vega carried Prince William, Orange, Culpeper and Greene counties.

Redistricting moved the 7th District from a swath of central Virginia west of Richmond to Northern Virginia. It now covers eastern Prince William, the city of Fredericksburg and all of King George, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, Culpeper, Orange, Greene and Madison counties plus about 35 voters in Albemarle County.

Vega’s victory was built on the back of a strong showing in Prince William, where the district covers areas generally east of Hoadly Road and Independent Hill. She overwhelmingly won the county with 52.27% of the vote, the only candidate to win an outright majority in any locality.

In a statement ahead of the primary results, Spanberger said any of the potential candidates were “far too extreme” and each had “failed to offer any kind of plan to tackle the problems facing Virginians.”

“Virginians will have a clear choice this fall,” Spanberger said. “I look forward to debating the issues with my opponent and winning reelection.”

Anderson received 8,855 votes or 23.8%. He carried King George, Stafford, Madison and Spotsylvania counties. He also won Albemarle County with four of the eight votes cast there.

State Sen. Bryce Reeves was third with 7,528, or 20.2%. He carried Fredericksburg and Caroline County.

Rounding out the candidates was Stafford County Supervisor Crystal Vanuch with 6,341 (17%), Spotsylvania County Supervisor David Ross 2,261 (6.1%) and history teacher Gina Ciarcia with 1,519 (4.1%).

Spanberger lives in Henrico County, just outside Richmond, and the reconfigured districts put her home in the 1st District, represented by Republican Rob Wittman. However, congressional representatives are not required to live in their district.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics rated the 7th District race as leaning Democratic. However, The Cook Political Report rated the race as a toss-up.

Turnout in Tuesday’s election was low throughout the district.

Prince William County Registrar Eric Olsen said that as of 3 p.m., 3,369 votes had been cast in the county. That's about 1.9% of the 174,865 registered voters in the county's portion of the district.

Spotsylvania County Registrar Kellie Acors hoped for 40% turnout, but “we’re pretty slow today” with only about 150 voters at each of its precincts.

Stafford County Registrar Anna Hash said from an anecdotal perspective, turnout has been low as of early afternoon. She “expected it would be low,” but by the end of the night she “could be surprised.”

Culpeper County Registrar James Clements said it’s hard to compare turnout in the county to previous years because this is the first 7th District Republican primary since 2014, when David Brat ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Clements said the election was running smoothly Tuesday and “we’ve seen more traffic in some of our precincts.”

Although Virginia has expanded its rules for early and mail-in voting, local election officers didn’t send out a substantial number of ballots.

Clements said Culpeper County issued about 5% of the mail-in ballots it did for 2020. Hash said Stafford County mailed out about 800 ballots and received about 350 back. Acors said Spotsylvania County sent out 800 ballots.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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(8) comments

Bonita Cubow

All you people shouting her praises must be just as dumb & ignorant as she is. Rape victims rarely if ever get pregnant because the rapist is performing "too fast". Really?? You other idiots also believe this is true??? I the only reason I'm happy she publicly made this moronic comment is because hopefully it will push Republicans with at least half a brain (sigh) to vote for Spanberger.

Alexander Gutierrez

she's a nut, shame Bryce Reeves didn't win

Duke Nukem

I always knew Vega was a street fighter champion. Vega wins! Perfect!

Ron Hilton

My county supervisor heading for the U.S. House of Representatives. Way to go Yesli, good luck in November!

William Lucke

Quotes from the opposing party who had nothing to do with this primary trashing the candidate, but no quotes from the winner or any of the candidates? Your politics are showing.

Duke Nukem

Yeah Nolan was at the McAwful party on election night and provided some great coverage last year.

Will Williams

Hopefully she can put the brakes on these hack supervisors. Wish we could vote Wheeler out today.

Sacagawea Lax

+1 Vega come November. Should be a nice Thanksgiving holiday for Republicans...Not so for the Demolition Dems.

Democrats, have fun with your vegan turkeys hunted with a nerf gun. Because the culture of Republicans winning in the Commonwealth of Va. continues...

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