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UPDATE: Lateef, Guzman won't seek Democratic nomination in 7th, further clearing the field for Spanberger

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The new 7th District extends from Caroline County north to Dale City in Prince William County and includes Stafford and Spotsylvania counties. It is heavily populated by federal employees and contractors, military members and retirees.

Two more potential candidates have decided to forgo a race for Congress in the new 7th District, further clearing the Democratic field for Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

Babur Lateef, chairman of the Prince William County School Board, and Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William, announced on Thursday that they will not run in the new district, which includes Fredericksburg, part of Prince William and all or part of nine other counties. No other Democrats have declared their candidacy for the seat.

“My responsibility as Prince William County School Board Chairman, particularly during this pandemic, continues to be critical,” Lateef said in a statement.

Katie Baker, a spokeswoman for Guzman, confirmed in a text message that Guzman will not run.

Tonya James, chair of the Prince William Democratic Committee, said the party is “absolutely unified” behind Spanberger.

Lateef noted that state Supreme Court’s experts’ initial proposed boundaries for the new 7th District included all of Prince William and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, and included his family’s home, while the finalized map does not.

The new district also does not include Spanberger’s home in western Henrico County, but the former CIA case officer has said she will run for a third term in the new district, which extends from Caroline County north to Dale City in eastern Prince William, and west to Greene and Madison counties. Members of the U.S. House are not required to live in the districts they represent.

Among the district’s GOP candidates, Derrick Anderson won an endorsement from a former rival in the crowded field.

The former Green Beret also reported his first campaign fundraising totals — $290,000 from 5,000 donors — since he jumped into the race in mid-October, just after the last quarterly deadline for disclosing campaign contributions.

Anderson, 37, a Spotsylvania County native and resident, received the endorsement of John Castorani, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran who dropped out of the race for the GOP nomination this month, and his wife, Krissy, a veteran of U.S. Air Force Special Operations and the Joint Special Operations Command.

Castorani, 30, of Orange County, said Thursday that they support Anderson as a “fellow Special Operations combat veteran” raised in the heart of the newly drawn district.

Anderson, who served six tours of duty for the U.S. Army in Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones, welcomed the endorsement from “fellow patriots, warriors and Special Operations combat veterans” and stressed the need to elect more veterans to Congress.

Anderson, who calls himself “a true political outsider,” called his first campaign fundraising report evidence of broad support in the new district.

The quarterly filing deadline for campaign fundraising is Monday, which could better determine the strength of candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the 7th District.

The GOP field also includes state Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, a former U.S. Army infantry captain with Ranger and Airborne qualifications; Prince William Supervisor Yesli Vega, a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy; Gina Ciarcia, a Prince William educator; Gary Adkins, an Air Force veteran in Stafford County; and potentially Del. John McGuire, R-Goochland.


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