Watch the results as they come in – NBC4 Washington

Watch the results as they come in – NBC4 Washington

Voters in Virginia went to the polls Tuesday to choose the candidates in a congressional race that will likely be the hottest in the commonwealth this fall.

The polls in Virginia closed Tuesday at 7 p.m. Refresh this page for updates as results come in.

Currently, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat, represents the 7th Congressional District, which covers part of Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, as well as several others. But Spanberger announced she will run for governor in 2025 instead of re-election to Congress, creating an open seat — and prompting many candidates on both sides to jump into the ring.

On the Republican side, six candidates were seeking the nomination to represent their party in a district that the GOP hopes to flip to red.

Among Democrats, there were seven hopefuls, including several who already hold public office but are looking to move up.

While there is also an open seat in the 10th Congressional District, the 7th is the race that political analysts say will be the most competitive in November.

“Republicans view the 7th District as a more attractive opportunity to flip a seat in Northern Virginia,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political analyst at the University of Mary Washington. “The amount of money that will be spent in the Seventh District on the Republican side will be much, much greater than the Tenth, regardless of who the nominee is.”

Money and an already well-known name were the key to making new candidate Eugene Vindman the presumed Democratic frontrunner ahead of Tuesday’s primaries.

Vindman’s twin brother, retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, made international headlines when he testified at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Eugene Vindman – a military officer at the time – said he was also involved as a whistleblower, which led to both brothers losing their government positions.

Vindman has easily outpaced the other six Democrats, though four of them have experience as elected officials, including three current officeholders.

“An advantage in terms of endorsements from top Democrats, the funding advantage he has in terms of the ability to raise money and the fact that he has a name that is well known – that puts him in a position to be better known than the other candidates,” Farnsworth said.

On the GOP side, two veterans topped the six-person pack ahead of Tuesday’s primaries.

Derek Anderson, highlighting his Green Beret background, was the top fundraiser and may have had the edge on Tuesday.

“I think a lot of people think Anderson is probably the favorite in that race,” said political analyst Robert Holsworth. “He has more money; he has a pedigree and a background that is quite interesting, and so again I think he is the favourite.”

But Cameron Hamilton, a veteran of Navy SEAL combat, also ran a strong campaign.

Neither man has previously held public office.

The Republican candidates all give their full support to Donald Trump. The primaries could be the first indication of whether the former president’s legal troubles have pushed Republican voters to come out.