Virginia's 7th District Gaining More Attention as Candidate is on Elise Stefanik's 'Women to Watch' List

Posted: Nov 29, 2021 10:45 PM
Virginia's 7th District Gaining More Attention as Candidate is on Elise Stefanik's 'Women to Watch' List

Source: Taylor Keeney, Twitter

As the GOP looks poised to take back the House for the 2022 midterm elections, a particularly closely watched race is Virginia's 7th district. Currently, the seat is held by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat. Earlier this month came some involvement from Rep. Elise Stefanik's (R-NY), E-Pac. Taylor Keeney, who is running in the crowded Republican primary for the seat, was included in the "Women to Watch" list.

E-Pac was founded by Stefanik, who is currently the chair of the House Republican Conference, after the 2018 midterms, "to increase that number by supporting top Republican female candidates in primaries across the country."

Keeney talked with Townhall about getting on the list, which came after she made sure she was on Stefanik's team's radar for candidates. By being on the "Women to Watch" list, Keeney explained that it means her campaign is on the pac's radar, and they're going to see how the situation plays out in the campaign, and may make a full endorsement in the future. Keeney emphasized she and her team are "really excited" and said she believes that "it shows my strength as a candidate."

When asked what Stefanik and her team saw in Keeney, the candidate mentioned similarities between Stefanik and herself, pointing out that the now congresswoman was young, "ran as an outsider," and "ran a positive campaign." 

Another similarity Keeney spoke this that she and Stefanik both see that the party needs to go in a certain direction, "by bringing new voices into our party" with a "need to start bringing in new voices into our party" including "younger people, particularly younger women." 

Keeney offered that "I think [Stefanik] really liked what I was running on my platform, but also who I am" and stressed that she's "getting out there and talking to everyone and talking about the issues that matter most... to the 7th district," which includes "education, public safety, and the cost of living." She stressed that "this campaign is about being out in the community, and building a broad tent, and building a very broad coalition of support," which she believes is what sets her apart from the rest. 

A specific part of Keeney's campaign that she wanted to highlight included her 'Help Wanted' tour, which is one of the way in which she can distinguish herself. Keeney explained that explained both during political events on the campaign trail, and non-political events as well, she kept seeing 'Help Wanted' signs around the district, this was "across all different industries."

For the span of several weeks, Keeney went out across the district to embark on such a tour to find out more as to why businesses are having such trouble hiring. "We're going to be out there," Keeney stressed about her campaign efforts, when it comes to "being out in the community and talking to people," something she has been doing throughout her career. 

Despite incentives for new employees, businesses are stilling having trouble filling roles. One particular concern, sure enough, includes the vaccine mandate. Keeney called President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate, which has already been involved in court battles, "an incredible overreach of power."

Keeney also shared that the tour confirmed a lot of what she already knew, specifically as it applied to Spanberger. For instance, she shared that the congresswoman is known for saying one thing and doing another, but Keeney emphasized that she really heard this repeatedly from disgruntled business owners as well. 

Regardless of their party affiliation, Keeney mentioned, "people don't feel like their congresswoman is working for them" when it comes to Spanberger.

"We already knew it," Keeney said about Spanberger's positions, "but now we're hearing it directly from people where it really impacts them and what they do." Keeney said it "absolutely" is a motivating factor for her to run, adding that "I know the issues people face in this district and I want to go to DC to truly represent this district and truly work to fix the issues facing families in this district," which is "not what's happening right now with our representative."

As has also been highlighted about the race is that further bad news for Spanberger has to do with how Virginia's Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, won her district, and won it handily. 

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