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Pro-business Chamber of Commerce repeats endorsement of Dem Abigail Spanberger, despite GOP blowback

Trump-endorsed Republican Yesli Vega has been slamming Spanberger on inflation. Spanberger counters with Chamber of Commerce nod.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The pro-business US Chamber of Commerce Thursday reiterated its support for Democrat Abigail Spanberger in the hotly contested race for Congress in Virginia's 7th District.

Republican Yesli Vega has been hammering Spanberger over inflation and the economy.

On Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, smack in the middle of one of the most fiercely fought over Congressional districts in the country, small business owner and former Republican Fayelee Hydorn was worried about something even more than inflation and the economy. 

"What really concerns me is our democracy," she said. Hydorn, 82, said she's never been more worried in her life.

Blocks away at the Collage Spa, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, running for her third term, was touting the endorsement of the US Chamber of Commerce. 

"The strength of our democracy is foundational to everything else, including our economy," she told WUSA9.

The historically Republican-leaning Chamber of Commerce is facing blowback from GOP leaders after endorsing 23 Republicans and four Democrats, including Spanberger, in competitive 2022 House races. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-Minority Leader), who would likely be Speaker if Republicans take the House, told Axios that he wouldn't work with the Chamber unless it got rid of current CEO Suzanne Clarke.

The Chamber endorsed 23 freshman House Democrats for re-election in 2020, including Spanberger. The Chamber spends more money on federal lobbying than any other group.

Moore Hallmark, the Chamber's Vice President and Managing Director of Regional Government Affairs, insisted that its endorsement of Spanberger was not a statement about Spanberger's challenger, Yesli Vega. 

"Not at all," he said. "This is a statement about [Spanberger's] leadership and dedication and willingness to work with us and the business community as a whole."

Vega and GOP leaders have hammered Spanberger on her record of supporting Democratic leaders. 

"But today, Biden, Pelosi, and Spanberger's reckless spending is driving up inflation and hurting Virginia families," Vega says in one of her most widely aired ads. "Spanberger is lying!... She votes with Pelosi 100% of the time," says an ad from the National Republican Campaign Committee.

"I think they're trying to tie me to national Democrats because they can't take issue with my actual record," Spanberger responds.

Spanberger crows about a recent survey that found her the fifth most bipartisan Democrat in Congress, and the most bipartisan member of the Virginia congressional delegation.

Moderation may be an asset. But in a narrowly divided District in a harshly divided country, we'll find out on Election Day if it's enough.

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