Hailed as a hometown hero and cheered by more than 200 mask-free fans during a pandemic who crowded into a barn Saturday in Culpeper County, GOP 7th Congressional District candidate Nick Freitas said his opponent, Democratic incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger, is afraid of her own party.
He said he’s offered five debates to Spanberger, with no response. She put out a press release last week saying she had agreed to participate in five events, one of which Freitas said had already been canceled. Several others aren’t open to the public, and don’t qualify as debates, he added.
“What is she so scared of at this point?” Freitas asked. “You!” the crowd responded, with applause.
Freitas accepted this, but disagreed.
“That’s very flattering, but I actually think she’s afraid of her own party,” he said. “That’s what this is. This is a fundamental difference in world views between the two parties.
“It’s a question between whether you see individuals as beautifully and wonderfully created in the image of God with a unique purpose in their lives, or are they all just here as a result of time plus chance plus matter, waiting around to be micromanaged by a political elite that thinks it’s better than the rest of us?” he said.
Wayne and Joyce Brown’s Kildee Farms on Batna Road in Stevensburg served as the setting for a GOP campaign rally for Freitas, as well as a healthy dose of pro-Trump rhetoric Saturday evening.
Sen. Amanda Chase, (R-Chesterfield)—who in February announced a run for governor in 2021—spoke in support of Freitas at the event, as did Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) and Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins, among others.
Born in 1979 in California, Freitas joined the U.S. Army out of high school and in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, became a Green Beret who served two tours in Iraq.
A graduate of the Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Strategy, Freitas was honorably discharged from the army in 2009 and moved to Culpeper in 2010, working as a consultant.
Freitas has been involved in local politics ever since, serving first as Culpeper County Republican Committee chairman. In 2015, he ran unopposed for the 30th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, which comprises Madison, Orange and part of Culpeper counties.
Freitas won reelection in 2017, and in 2018 sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, but lost to Corey Stewart.
In 2019, Freitas failed to submit his paperwork for his reelection to the House of Delegates, and subsequently launched a write-in campaign, which he won with 57% of the vote. Soon after the November election Freitas announced his candidacy for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, winning the GOP nomination in July.
The district spans all of Orange, Culpeper, Goochland, Louisa, Nottoway, Amelia and Powhatan counties, as well as parts of Chesterfield and Henrico just outside Richmond, and Spotsylvania, near Fredericksburg.
Spanberger, also 41, of Henrico County, narrowly upset former Rep. Dave Brat in 2018 as part of the blue wave, overturning a district that Republicans had held since 1971 and helping Democrats win control of the House.
The former CIA officer and federal postal inspector has emphasized her record during the campaign of reaching across the aisle on issues such as border security, broadband internet access and lowering prescription drug prices. In 2019, she held 12 in-person town hall meetings across the district and many virtual events in 2020, since the the threat of COVID-19 began, making an effort to connect with her constituents to understand their needs.
But Freitas maintains it is not enough.
Highlighting the contrast of viewpoints between Republicans and Democrats on criminal justice reform, abortion and the economy, Freitas said at the rally Saturday night:
“This debate is all about individual liberty versus Washington, D.C., controlling your life. Both Abigail Spanberger and myself both believe in solving problems. She thinks the best way to do it is through more government bureaucracy, more government power, more taxes, more regulations. I think it’s through individual liberty and individual opportunity.”
Freitas said at the rally that in recent polls, Spanberger has fallen by 4 points. He urged those in attendance to be vigilant in their support of him.
“So this is our generation’s opportunity—a choice between the promise of America enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, or a complete aberration of a political philosophy that everywhere it is tried has led to poverty, sickness, degradation and oppression,” he said.
“So if we still believe it, then we’ve got to step up and fight for it with everything we have.”
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