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Virginia - 1st District

Incumbent -- Rob Wittman (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The GOP-friendly 1st lies along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, stretching from Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs of Washington all the way south to the shipbuilding cities of Hampton and Newport News. Along the way, popular tourist destinations, such as Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, recall Virginia's colonial past.

Industry here revolves around military facilities and NASA sites, which have attracted private-sector technology firms. Nearly one-fourth of workers in the 1st are employed by the government, which helps insulate the area from widespread layoffs. Colleges and universities also stabilize the district's economic base, as do shipbuilding and tourism. Inland counties, such as Stafford, Spotsylvania and Caroline, are driven by education, health care and agriculture sectors.

The 1st's northern counties have absorbed Washington commuters who continue to move down the Interstate 95 corridor farther from the city. Spotsylvania County, midway between Richmond and Washington and one-fifth of which is in the 7th, and Stafford County, north of Fredericksburg, have grown quickly since 2000, particularly within the Hispanic population.

The 1st is solidly Republican, and the party controls local offices and the U.S. House seat here, but John McCain won only 51 percent of the 1st's 2008 presidential vote.

Major Industry

Defense, technology, agriculture, tourism, higher education

Military Bases

Marine Corps Base Quantico, 7,489 military, 9,621 civilian; Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, 340 military, 4,482 civilian; Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, 1,315 military, 751 civilian (2011); Fort A.P. Hill (Army), 2 military, 250 civilian (2009)

Cities

Newport News (pt.), 75,176; Hampton (pt.), 31,712

Notable

George Washington and Robert E. Lee both were born in Westmoreland County, and their birth sites attract visitors; Jamestown, settled in 1607, was the first permanent English settlement in North America.

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