The campaign for Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), a vulnerable Democratic incumbent who could very well lose her seat on Tuesday, is coming under fire for racist remarks made by Katherine White of Network NOVA, a canvasser, during a video interview while the congresswoman's field director, Jackson Miller, nods along in agreement. At the beginning of the clip, Miller identifies himself and his title, as well as announces he uses "he/him pronouns."
In the clip, White, who shares she is a canvasser for Spanberger, says that she comes across Hispanic voters who may be Democrats, but are voting for Yesli Vega, Spanberger's Republican opponent, because they may "get very much, like confused, will look at this wonderful young person that may look like them." Vega was born in Houston, Texas, to Salvadoran parents.
In a shockingly racist & condescending statement, @SpanbergerVA07’s Deputy Field Dir, “Jackson” listens 2 @NetworkVirginia’s host imply that Hispanic voters in VA07 might get “confused” about liking @yestoyesli bc she looks like them & accidentally support Yesli@VA_GOP pic.twitter.com/lFy5ZHrHtx— NOVA Campaigns (@NoVA_Campaigns) November 5, 2022
The clip was addressed by Moms for Safe Streets, and sent around to voters, as 7 News DC's Nick Minock highlighted over Twitter.
In a press release, Moms for Safe Streets called out White's remarks as "racist" and "bigoted" and called on Spanberger to address them. "Abigail Spanberger owes Hispanic voters an apology and an acknowledgement that they are more than capable of voting based on more than the color of their skin. Anything less is embracing the racist spirit of these comments," the release mentioned.
The Washington Post last month, in a piece by Megan Flynn, as Moms for Safe Streets mentioned, acknowledged that Hispanic voters could be "key" in this race to handing Vega a victory.
As the piece references:
Locked in a highly competitive race with Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), Vega is one of a record 31 GOP Hispanic nominees — including 11 incumbents — on the ballot across the country this year, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee. In Virginia, her candidacy also follows a broader trend of the GOP running with more diverse candidates, coming on the heels of last year’s victories of Attorney General Jason S. Miyares, the first Latino elected statewide, and Winsome Earle-Sears, the state’s first Black female lieutenant governor and a Jamaican immigrant.
NOVA Campaigns, which posted the clip, also has more on Miller, noting in a Saturday thread over Twitter that he's locked his account. That's still the case as of Monday night. Such a thread also highlights Miller's support from Virginia Del. Elizabeth Guzman, a Democrat who, as Matt covered, has a proposal in mind that would jail parents for not affirming their child's sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
@JPMillerVA also supported by @vademocrats’ @guzman4virginia … who famously wants to put Virginia parents in jail for protecting them against radical trans-surgeries and trans ideology in public schools.— NOVA Campaigns (@NoVA_Campaigns) November 5, 2022
He’s friends with @PPFA Planned Parenthood of Virginia’s @jlock pic.twitter.com/Jk8fNmVV5q
Spanberger, as has also been covered, has her own association with Guzman, having campaigned with her. The Vega campaign was quick to address this, including when it comes to the suggestion that such an association is why Spanberger didn't want to debate Vega.
Forecasters, including Cook Political Report, see Spanberger's race as a "Toss Up." Spanberger was one of the first members added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's (DCCC) Frontline list, for the most vulnerable incumbents.
Spanberger made news earlier in this week as well, with Flynn reporting for The Washington Post on Sunday that soon-to-be-former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) endorsed the Democratic congresswoman. Cheney lost her primary by almost 40 points in August to Harriet Hageman. She's endorsed other Democrats, including Rep. Elissa Slotkin from Michigan in her reelection campaign, and Rep. Tim Ryan, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). Slotkin's race is considered a "Toss Up," and Ryan is largely expected to lose his race, as forecasters and polls favor his Republican opponent, J.D. Vance.
As Bryan Metzger and Eliza Relman reported earlier on Monday for Insider, Spanberger actually asked for the endorsement, showing further signs of desperation.