Tina Ramirez is once again seeking the Republican nomination to run against Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. Ramirez narrowly finished third in a field of six at the 2020 Republican nomination convention. Now, less than one year since that convention, she is announcing her candidacy and hitting the campaign trail again.
“I am a pro-life, single mother,” Ramirez said in an interview Thursday with Virginia Scope. “I also run a global nonprofit organization that does human rights work around the world — so my day job I always say is dealing with dictators. I feel like politics is nothing after that.”
After announcing her candidacy on the same day that marijuana became legal in Virginia, Ramirez said she does not support legalization for recreational use. “It’s really just not good for Virginia,” she said in an interview. She cited a fear of people driving their cars while high increasing the dangers. “I think this is really a bad policy that was rushed through.” She does support using it for medical reasons, however.
Ramirez also cited her opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT) when discussing freedoms that Democrats are allegedly taking away — a key talking point for her campaign. CRT is the education ideology that is based on America’s foundation being built on systemic racism. Republicans have turned the topic into a campaign talking point, saying it will teach kids to view the world through a racial lens or provide kids with a reason to feel it is okay to fail.
No public school systems in Virginia have claimed to be teaching CRT and there has yet to be any substantiated proof that it has been taught.
Ramirez said that there is “plenty of information out there about this that anyone can find.”
The 2020 election results are still a sensitive subject in the Republican base but Ramirez says everyone moving forward is a sign that the results have been accepted. “I think we are all here today because I think we all accepted them,” Ramirez said in an interview.
She didn’t back down, however, from citing alleged fraud in the election — even though Trump’s Justice Department found no evidence of election fraud. “I definitely believe that there was fraud in the election and there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed,” Ramirez said. She also noted the number of days that Virginia voters are allowed to vote early, expressing opposition to the new laws that Democrats passed to increase access to early voting.
As far as holding hearing about than Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, Ramirez said the FBI should be the ones to investigate so Congress can move forward. “There has already been justice being served in that, I don’t think we need to go back and rehash it,” Ramirez said. “The FBI, our justice system is handling Jan. 6 and we need to move forward and focus on bringing our country together and focusing on the issues to get our economy working again.”
Ramirez did not say specifically if she would have voted against the American Rescue Plan, the COVID-19 stimulus relief package passed under the Biden administration. She said some help from the government was necessary, but referred to the entire stimulus package as a spending bill. “When the government shuts down businesses, yes they should provide them some relief,” she said. “But I think at the same time the government treating the American people like a piggy bank and printing money to pay for all of their pet projects is not the answer.”
John Castorani and Guatam Barve have filed paperwork seeking the Republican nomination as well. Castorani was a Republican candidate in Alabama’s first congression district last year. Barve appears to have been a city council candidate in Santa Clara, California last year.
Other potential candidates for the Republican nomination include state Del. John Mcguire (Goochland) and state Senator Amanda Chase (Chesterfield). Mcguire sought the nomination in 2020 but lost to Del. Nick Freitas (Culpeper) in the final round of the convention. Chase recently sought the Republican nomination for governor and finished third.
Spanberger’s upset victory in 2018 over Dave Brat made her the first Democrat to represent this district in more than 61 years. That made her a high target for Republicans in 2020, but her margin of victory actually grew in 2020 compared to her win in 2018.
One wildcard factor for this race will be redistricting. The Redistricting Commission will be drawing new maps for congressional districts in the coming months and that leaves a big question mark looming over everything for Virginia campaigns.
The delay in census data means that House of Delegates elections this year will take place under the old lines, but the 2022 races will be under the new lines. In a district as tight as VA-07, any shift in one direction could result in a drastic change for this race.
Either way, it looks like candidates will be lining up to try and defeat Spanberger next year.
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