State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Reeves said his experience in the General Assembly gives him the skills needed to enact his priorities: bringing Congress back to following the traditional legislative process, limiting spending, and making sure the military has necessary resources.

“I’d like to see us get back to regular order. I think it’s important for the country that Congress get back to a regular budget, not just a continuing resolution, on funding. We’ve got to get to where we have what’s called a single object rule, which means we can’t have these three- and five-thousand page bills where everything’s stacked into one thing,” Reeves told The Virginia Star.

Reeves said without the single object rule, irrelevant legislation about Planned Parenthood could be bundled into a veterans’ bill. A single object rule would require everything in a bill to be germane to the original purpose of the bill.

“I think that would clarify and clean up a lot of what happens in Congress. Those are big, heavy lifts,” Reeves said.

“We need to continue to make sure that our nation’s military is well-equipped, that we have the resources we need,” Reeves said.

He said President Joe Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal demoralized the troops, making it important to focus on recruiting efforts. Reeves also touted his efforts in support of U.S. H.R. 886, signed by President Donald Trump. The legislation establishes a veterans treatment court program, passed after Reeves helped start a similar program in Virginia.

On the budget, Reeves said, “We’ve got to look at the debt ceiling. We’ve got to stop spending. And so, I’m not saying I’m going to be a budget hawk, but certainly, I’m going to have a lot of input on that.”

He said his experience as a senator prepares him to hit the ground running on those issues when he arrives in Congress.

Reeves graduated from Texas A&M University as a distinguished military graduate and has a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University. He was Airborne Ranger Qualified in the U.S. Army, and after he got out served as a Prince William County narcotics detective. He’s also been an independent State Farm Insurance agent for 22 years.

“So I get what businesses go through,” he said.

“And for 10 years I’ve been a leader in the Senate, working on bipartisan legislation and everything from making sure that our gun rights were portended to defending parental rights in 2013 with Senate Bill 908, and working on foster care,” Reeves said.

Reeves said as a legislator his wheelhouse has been veterans and law enforcement issues. In the past year, Reeves has also been a critic of efforts to remove Confederate monuments, although he doesn’t think that will be a big campaign issue.

“I think that issue on the campaign will be the economy, I think people are hurting, they’re 30 days from the street,” he said.

Reeves has experience with statewide campaigns; he was one of President Trump’s Virginia co-chairs in 2016, and ran for lieutenant governor in 2017.

Nomination Battle

Although the newly redistricted 7th Congressional District may slightly favor Democrats, it’s a swing district that voted for Governor Glenn Youngkin by 52 percent, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Nationally, Republicans expect to make gains in the 2022 midterms as a voter backlash to President Joe Biden, and the Cook Political Report recently updated the VA-07 general election race to Toss-Up.

That’s attracted several GOP candidates to the race, including veteran Derrick Anderson, who led in recent fundraising reports; Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega, a former law enforcement officer who’s received endorsements from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ginni Thomas; and Stafford County Supervisor Crystal Vanuch, who was able to loan her campaign $400,000, placing her among the other top candidates.

On Thursday, the National Republican Congressional Committee added Reeves, Vega, and Vanuch to its list of national “On the Radar” candidates; Anderson was added to the list in February.

The Virginia Star’s publisher, John Fredericks, has asked the four candidates if they would support House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) for leadership or Speaker of the House. In interviews on The John Fredericks Show only Vega and Reeves have said they would oppose McCarthy.

All the candidates have name-checked GOP issues including being pro-law enforcement and pro-military and expressed concerns about Democratic economic policy.

Reeves highlighted his work on the Trump campaign and high ratings on his legislative history from the NRA and the Virginia Family Foundation.

“We’re the only one who has a real history. Now, while it’s true, there are others that have done a little bit, I’ve done all those things and more. So when you look at knowledge, skills, and experience, there’s no one in this race that has what we have,” Reeves said.

He also highlighted his educational experience.

“I’ve studied at Harvard, and I’ve also gone to the Army War College. No one in this race has those same credentials. And so I will throw my resume up against any one of these people,” he said.

Reeves, Vanuch, and Vega all already represent parts of VA-07.

About three-quarters of Reeves’ state senate district overlaps the much larger congressional district. In the commonwealth’s upper chamber, Reeves currently represents a little more than 20 percent of Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Defeating Spanberger

Former CIA officer Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) has worked to burnish her credentials as a moderate, voting “present” instead of voting for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), criticizing defund-the-police messaging, and highlighting district benefits from spending packages.

“Simply put, Nancy Pelosi had the votes to allow her to get a walk,” Reeves said.

He said, “She says one thing, but her actions mean another thing. She votes 90 to almost 93 percent with Pelosi and 100 percent with Joe Biden. That’s not being a moderate, and that’s not setting yourself aside. That’s all a facade.”

In 2020, Spanberger was re-elected, defeating Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper), a longtime Reeves’ ally. Spanberger won with a margin of 8,270 votes after Henrico County found 14,616 absentee votes on a mislabeled memory stick. Reeves said he’s probably less libertarian than Freitas, and that the VA-07 redistricting will also change the dynamics of the race.

“There was a flash drive that found all these votes and some of these things at the last minute during Nick’s race. I won’t let that go unchallenged,” he said. “But here’s the real difference: I’ve got a bipartisan record. I can talk about the things that we’ve accomplished and the things that matter.”

The primary is June 21; Reeves thinks the winner will defeat Spanberger.

Reeves concluded, “We’ve been a champion of the people for the last 10 years. We’ve held a Democratic seat. They’ve run their best at us and we’ve maintained that. So I can win in Democratic district. I can certainly win in a Republican district. And we are the only candidate in this race that has all the knowledge, skills, and experience, and experience matters, especially day one. I don’t need training wheels to go to Congress, where others will need to figure out how to do the job or how to even do a bill. I don’t need that.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bryce Reeves” by Bryce Reeves.