Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Nick Freitas Becomes Latest Republican to Challenge Spanberger

Deligate Nick Freitas
Del. Nick Freitas (Craig Carper/VPM News)

Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) is the latest Republican to enter the race against Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger.

The former Green Beret is known for his fiery speeches, conservative politics, and most recently, an expensive write-in campaign for the House of Delegates.

Freitas did two tours in Iraq and has served in the House of Delegates since 2015. Several conservative groups have ranked him as one of the most right-leaning lawmakers in the chamber.

“I've just been growing increasingly concerned about some of the arguments coming from the left with respect to socialism with respect to concentrating more power in Washington, DC,” Freitas said in an interview on Monday.

Freitas says Spanberger hasn’t delivered on her promises for bipartisanship, voting alongside progressives like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on 88% of votes.

“I think a lot of those voters are going to sour on what she's telling people versus what she's actually doing in Washington, DC,” Freitas said.

Freitas staged a successful write-in campaign for House of Delegates this year after he failed to submit his paperwork on time to appear on the ballot. He narrowly lost to Corey Stewart in a Republican primary to run against Sen. Tim Kaine in 2018.

He gained national attention for a 2018 speech on the House floor that blamed gun violence in part on welfare and abortions, rhetoric some black lawmakers said was racially insensitive. 

“Nick Freitas couldn't even figure out how to get on the ballot for a state legislature race but he thinks voters are going to trust him to deliver for a Congressional district of over 700,000 people,” said Grant Fox, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia. “He's much more interested in getting famous than getting elected, and he's spent most of his time trying to go viral rather than pass a bill.”

Freitas’ opponents for the Republican nomination include Delegate John McGuire, who is also a conservative combat veteran, and religious liberties advocate Tina Ramirez.

Republicans will decide on a nominee to run against Spanberger in a convention, a process that has historically favored more conservative candidates.


Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.