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Williams Aims to Make History in First Congressional District

Vangie Williams for Congress


Only four women have ever represented Virginia on Capitol Hill, and never a woman of color. Now a Democratic candidate in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District is hoping to change that.

Some have called it the year of women. Virginia Democrats have chosen female candidates to run up and down the ballot. Vangie Williams says, as a black woman, she’s felt supported emotionally. Just, not financially.

“I have spoken to women, African American women, all across the country and they’re going through the exact same thing I’m not recognized in certain circles as a viable candidate, not because I’m not qualified or I don’t have the experience. But because of my race,” says Williams.  

She is running in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, which includes Fredericksburg, Ashland and the Northern Neck. Incumbent Rob Wittman has consistently won re-election by large margin. Still, the Williams campaign points out that she’s got a shot at being the first woman of color to represent Virginia on Capitol Hill, and that’s an opportunity party leaders shouldn’t write off.

Jake Rubenstein is the Democratic Party of Virginia’s communications director. He says they’re all in.

“We’re fully deploying in that race. Rob Wittman’s voted 90-percent of the time with Donald Trump. That’s not where that district is,” Rubenstein. “Vangie Williams’ values and what she stands for is where that district is.”

Rubenstein says the party has seven staffers on the ground drumming up excitement about Williams’ candidacy.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.



Mallory Noe-Payne is Radio IQ's Richmond reporter and bureau chief.