Taylor Keeney, a Goochland resident and non-profit founder is officially launching her campaign for the Republican nomination to run for Virginia’s seventh congressional district seat. The seat is currently held by Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-Henrico) who is up for reelection in 2022.
Keeney was a communications staffer for Governor Bob McDonnell before starting Little Hands Virginia, a nonprofit that was launched in 2019. According to Keeney’s campaign announcement, the goal of Little Hands Virginia is to ensure that young children around Richmond have the basic essentials needed to thrive and help improve outcomes in the long term.
“When I saw that families in Central Virginia had trouble getting basic essentials for their children, I launched Little Hands Virginia from my garage while on maternity leave,” Keeney said in her announcement. “Today, we work with over 50 local partners to identify children in need of support and will serve over 1,000 children in 2021 alone.”
Keeney is wasting no time in attacking Spanberger. “Our current Representative has simply not gotten the job done in Congress – she’s all talk,” Taylor said. “Despite promising to be a bipartisan voice, Abigail Spanberger has voted with Nancy Pelosi over 90% of the time since taking office, including a shocking 100% of the time during the Biden administration. This is not bipartisan, this is politics as usual and we deserve better.”
Keeney has hired Anthony Pileggi, a former NRCC regional political director and chief of staff to Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, and Liesl Hickey, a former NRCC Executive Director, to guide her campaign moving forward.
The growing list of Republicans in the race already includes Tina Ramirez, who recently announced her candidacy; plus John Castorani and Guatam Barve who have both filed paperwork as well. Last year, Ramirez came in third for the VA-07 nomination that Del. Nick Freitas eventually earned, Castorani was a Republican candidate in Alabama’s first congressional district, and Barve appears to have been a city council candidate in Santa Clara, California.
Other potential candidates for the Republican nomination include state Del. John Mcguire (Goochland) and state Senator Amanda Chase (Chesterfield).
Spanberger won the seat in 2018 when she defeated former Congressman Dave Brat. Prior to Spanbergber’s victory, the seat was held but a Republican for more than 60 years.
Republicans made this seat a top target in 2020 but were unable to flip it during a losing presidential election cycle; Spanberger’s margin of victory actually increased in 2020 compared to 2018.
Redistricting is also set to take place before the 2022 election so it is unclear just how competitive this district will be. Due to the close margin of victory the last two cycles, any shift to the right would make this seat promising for the GOP with a Democrat in the White House.
A lot can change in the 15 months before this general election takes place, but either way, Keeney says she believes Washington D.C. is broken and that she will be able to fix it. “I know what it takes to build consensus, bring people together, and find solutions to the problems facing our community.”
Virginia Scope is an independent news publication that is funded largely by donations and subscribers. As local newsrooms are losing writers each day, we are trying to fill the void to ensure that the public is informed and that leaders are held accountable for their actions. If you can chip in a monthly subscription of whatever you can afford, even $1, it will go a long way to helping us. Subscribe here. You can also make a one-time donation below: