CULPEPER TIMES: Spanberger receives warm welcome in Culpeper during town hall


Abigail Spanberger was met with a warm welcome in Culpeper Tuesday during a town hall where she listened to constituents issues and relayed her work in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Spanberger, serving her first term as 7th District Congresswoman, heard from a dozen residents of her district Tuesday, many with questions on healthcare and others expressing concern about solar projects within Culpeper County. 

She was met a common refrain from those chosen to ask questions, that they were pleased to have her as their representative. She said that despite the common perception in the country that there’s a divide, that she has been met with respect throughout the district. 

“That has been my experience across the board, in my eighth town hall, that I’ve had people ask challenging questions and they clearly disagree with me, but my duty is to answer those questions respectfully and fully,” Spanberger said. 

Three of those questions on Tuesday centered on solar farms in Culpeper County – a topic unique to this community.

Susan Ralston asked about Spanberger’s thoughts on renewable energy and specifically about solar developers coming into Culpeper County and using agricultural land – mentioning two pending projects that would take up more than 3,000 acres.

Later, her husband Troy asked a similar question, noting that Spanberger had said she was in favor of renewable energy but asking how she balanced that with also being in favor of Virginia’s agriculture and scenic views.

“It is a locality issue,” Spanberger said. “It is up the locality for land use and it’s up to land owners to determine if they want to sell their land or not. I have to trust that Culpeper County knows best and what is necessary for Culpeper and what is right for Culpeper. My expectation is that they are doing their due diligence. I absolutely understand it is a challenging issue for so many people and my role is that they can bring any concern to me. I still appreciate the opportunity to understand the opinions in our community.”

Jeffrey Nichol, a junior at Culpeper County High School, asked about the issues with college affordability.

Spanberger said she is part of a group called Future Forum that is relatively younger members of Congress that focus on issues younger Americans are concerned about – one of those is college affordability. 

“One is ensuring people can negotiate their college loans,” Spanberger said. “I am a believer that we need highly competitive, low interest rate loans for students to go to school.”

Another hot topic was healthcare, and she said the discussion is one she’s had numerous times throughout her travels. 

One question, asked by Ed Dunphy, of Culpeper, focused on what transperancy can be used with the healthcare industry in terms of up front costs when you sign that you’re willing to pay – and yet not fully knowing what you may have to pay for prior to a doctor’s exam.

Spanberger started to answer the question, then admitted she didn’t know the answer and would have to research it. 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have a point in the process brought up where I haven’t been part of the conversation,” she said. “I think it’s important to be honest, in a district like ours I want to make sure I tell people what I’m working on and what I’m interested in. I generally have a lot of answers for a lot of questions but I think it was an excellent question and I talked to my team last night and we’re starting to do some research but I’ll be able to get back to Ed and I’m grateful that someone inspired me.”

Recent Posts

Spanberger, Graves Press for Markup on Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate the WEP & GPO, Provide Long Overdue Fairness to Public Servants

The Bipartisan “Social Security Fairness Act” Now Has 308 Cosponsors — More Than Enough to Guarantee the Legislation Would Pass on the U.S. House Floor WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Garret Graves (R-LA-06) today urged the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to take the next step to eliminate the Windfall […]

Feb 29, 2024
Economy & Jobs

Spanberger Statement on Vote to Prevent Government Shutdown, Protect Virginia’s Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass a short-term, stopgap funding measure — known as a “continuing resolution” — to avoid a shutdown that would damage Virginia’s economy. The legislation includes two staggered deadlines to keep the federal […]

Feb 29, 2024

During Black History Month, Spanberger Introduces Bill to Name Fredericksburg Post Office for Civil Rights Leader, Gladys P. Todd

Gladys P. Todd Was A Revered School Teacher, Voting Rights Advocate, & Community Organizer in Fredericksburg WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today introduced legislation to rename a Fredericksburg post office after Gladys P. Todd, a prominent leader in the Fredericksburg civil rights movement. Located at 1285 Emancipation Highway in Fredericksburg, the post office […]