(The Center Square) — With an early declaration from Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger that she will be running for governor in 2025 and Virginia’s one-term policy preventing Gov. Glenn Youngkin from running consecutively, Republicans can only speculate who their candidates will be.
Spanberger has said she declared early due to next year’s congressional races in which her seat will be reelected. She wanted to give interested parties time to prepare a strong campaign to keep District 7 blue.
Virginia law prevents Virginia governors from running for a second term immediately following their first in office; they may run for reelection later, as former governor Terry McAuliffe did against Youngkin in 2021.
As attorneys general and lieutenant governors are popular positions from which to run for governor, some have speculated about current state Attorney General Jason Miyares or Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears.
Longtime congressman Rep. Rob Wittman, R-1, has also been discussed as a potential candidate.
Upon Spanberger’s announcement, Miyares tweeted, “The last thing Virginia needs is a far left politician who votes 100% of the time with Joe Biden,” but he isn’t making any formal moves toward the office at this time.
When asked whether the attorney general had plans to run for governor, Miyares’ spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita told The Center Square in an email: “The Attorney General is focused on continuing his efforts of combating crime, defending the rights of all Virginians and protecting them from federal overreach.”
Wittman’s office said the congressman has no special plans for 2025.
“Congressman Wittman is not running for governor of Virginia. He is focused on representing the residents of Virginia’s 1st District and intends to continue his service in Congress by running for re-election in 2024,” Wittman’s spokeswoman Julianne Heberlein told The Center Square in an email.
Earle-Sears’ office did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Some think Amanda Chase, a former state senator self-described as “Trump in heels” who ran for governor in 2021 but lost her party’s nomination to Youngkin, may make a bid for 2025, as well.