Gina Ciarcia has joined the crowded field of Republican candidates jockeying for the party nomination to challenge Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, in the dramatically reconfigured 7th Congressional District.
Ciarcia, a resident of Dumfries in Prince William County who ran unsuccessfully for the House of Delegates last fall, is seeking to represent a district previously rooted in the Richmond suburbs but now anchored in eastern Prince William and the Fredericksburg area.
She is the second Prince William resident — and woman — to seek the GOP nomination. Coles District Supervisor Yesli Vega, who lives just outside the new district, also is running for the seat currently held by Spanberger, a two-term Democrat who lives in western Henrico County.
Ciarcia touts her background in education, a winning issue for Republicans in the November elections as they won back Virginia’s top three statewide offices and control of the House. A mother of five, she cites “years of homeschooling, tutoring and full-time teaching.”
Her campaign said she home-schooled her children and others until high school under the Classical Conversations curriculum. She also taught at Veritas Collegiate Academy in Fairfax County and Dominion Christian School in Reston.
Ciarcia, who moved to Prince William in 2017, also features her role as wife of a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer. “As a military spouse, I am no stranger to service and sacrifice,” she said.
In addition to Ciarcia and Vega, the Republican primary field includes state Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania; Derrick Anderson, a military veteran and lawyer who grew up in Spotsylvania; John Castorani, a former military and civilian intelligence operative who lives in Orange; and Gary Adkins, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who lives in Stafford County.
Del. John McGuire, R-Goochland, declared his candidacy last year under the 7th District’s former boundaries, which included his home in Goochland County as well as parts of Henrico and Chesterfield counties. McGuire has not yet said whether he will run in the new district.
Congressional candidates are not legally required to live in the districts they represent, but generally do to run for office.
Three former Republican hopefuls — state Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield; Tina Ramirez, also of Chesterfield; and Taylor Keeney of Goochland — have dropped out of the 7th District race after being moved into new congressional districts that Republicans already represent.
Chase and Ramirez are likely to face off for the GOP nomination in the new 12th Senate District.
Spanberger announced in late December that she would run for re-election in the new district. She has not said whether she and her family, including three school-age children, will move into the new district and, if so, where.
A number of Democratic elected officials from Prince William had expressed interest in running for the seat under an initially proposed map that would have included the entire county within the district. However, most of them withdrew from consideration after the Virginia Supreme Court approved a final map that split the county between the 7th and 10th districts.
Del. Elizabeth Guzman, D-Prince William, and Prince William School Board Chairman Babur Lateef are still considering whether to seek the Democratic nomination for the seat.