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Spanberger visits Culpeper in 'SpanVan' campaign swing
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Spanberger visits Culpeper in 'SpanVan' campaign swing

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Downtown Culpeper gained an extra dash of electoral enthusiasm Wednesday when U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger barnstormed through town in a recreational vehicle her staff is calling the “SpanVan.”

For an hour, the supergraphic-wrapped RV parked along Main Street near the county voter registrar’s office as the House member greeted pedestrians and people driving past. Painted in navy and baby blue, the graphics urged viewers to “Vote now through Nov. 3rd” and advised them that the lawmaker was “working for all of us.” Today was the van’s debut.

“Hello, how are you? I’m Abigail Spanberger,” the freshman Democrat would say as she introduced herself to voters and others who were walking by.

Some drivers stopped, pulled over or turned their cars around to go back and meet the 7th Congressional District legislator, whose challenger this election is Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper.

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One door up the street, people patiently lined up along the sidewalk outside the voter registrar’s office, before stepping inside—masks on, usually two at a time—to cast their early ballots in November’s general election.

As Spanberger met with people and encouraged early voters, Culpeper Democrats held up campaign signs beside the SpanVan in front of the Boost Mobile store at Main and Cameron streets, waved them at motorists and offered bumper stickers for their cars.

The Virginia-born congresswoman, who lives in Henrico County, talked in Spanish with local Latino voters, encouraged job-seekers and career changers, and thanked people who had just cast their ballots.

“There is so much energy here during these final days of early voting,” Spanberger later said of Culpeper via Twitter. “I’m glad I got to speak with so many excited voters!”

She had begun her day in Spotsylvania County at an early voting site near Massaponax and, after Culpeper, she and her team drove on to the town of Orange and its voter registrar’s office.

As the campaign tour continues, Spanberger said she will travel throughout the sprawling 7th District between now and Sunday.

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Clint Schemmer, a journalist since 1980, has worked at papers in California, North Carolina and Virginia. He’s been a bureau chief, editorial-page editor, copy desk chief and local news editor. Now a staff writer at the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

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