Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland, won re-election in the 1st District for the sixth time, defeating first-time political candidate Vangie Williams.
Unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections, with 236 of 244 precincts reporting, show Wittman winning with 164,323 votes, 57 percent, and Williams with 125,362 votes, 43 percent.
Locally, 15 voting precincts in James City County that are part of the 1st Congressional District mirrored a district-wide trend, supporting Wittman with an unofficial 55 percent of the vote.
“It’s a vigorous campaign season which is what they should be about, and we’re very humbled to be returning to serve folks in the first district,” Wittman said Tuesday night. “It’s been a great evening and it’s really humbling to receive the trust of folks again in the first district.”
The district has been a reliable win for Republicans since first taking power in 1976, and has been represented by Wittman since 2007. Tuesday’s unofficial margin is on par with the 2016 general elections, where he won the 1st District with nearly 60 percent of the vote, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
As a member of Congress, Wittman serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources. While campaigning, Wittman said his priorities include increasing broadband internet access in the 1st District’s rural communities, increasing national defense spending and bolstering the district’s economy.
Williams, a native of King George, ran a campaign focused on universal health care with access to vision and dental care, building up infrastructure and expanding broadband internet access in the 1st District. According to a Tidewater Review report, she was the first African-American woman to win a nomination from either major party for the 1st District, and would’ve been the state’s first Congresswoman of color if elected.
Williams planned to introduce a new policy called the Invest Initiative if she’d won, which would have benefitted enlisted military men and women, veterans, first responders and retired and active educators by exempting the first $50,000 of the earnings from federal income tax.
Heading into his sixth term in the House of Representatives, Wittman said that his priorities will include broadband access, expanding career and technical education, national defense and veterans care.
“We’re going to continue on the things that we’ve worked on, we’re going to want to do even more for our veterans, we have a new veterans care facility being built in Fredericksburg but we want to do more in the southern side of the district in Hampton Roads,” Wittman said. “Making sure, too, that we continue to build the readiness in our military and working with our school systems to enhance and further career and technical education as well as broadband.”
Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.