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VIRGINIA (DC News Now) — The images of Democratic U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger and her Republican challenger Yesli Vega are plastered everywhere in television ads with millions spent to promote or assail them.

The commercials both for and against each candidate in Virginia’s 7th Congressional district feature political attacks that rival the most spirited races in the country. Spanberger is accused of being a reckless, tax-and-spend liberal who aimlessly supports her party, while Vega is accused of being a far-right, insensitive extremist who believes women can’t get pregnant by rape.

Winner of the Republican primary for the 7th district congressional race, Yesli Vega, left, speaks to the crows along with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin at a restaurant Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Woodbridge, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Both women vehemently reject the labels and accusations. The candidates, both of whom have worked in law enforcement, admit the race has gotten ugly.

“Politics overall has become very divisive and in our race, I am focused on telling people what it is that I have been able to do, what I’ve delivered for the 7th district of Virginia,” said Spanberger, 43, who was a Central Intelligence Agency agent that dealt with terrorism. “I’m reminding people and making sure people know I’m the most bipartisan member of the Virginia delegation.”

Vega, 37, who has served as an officer in Alexandria and is currently a deputy sheriff in Prince William County, said she also decries the negativity.

“I’ve been talking about the issues that matter to voters here in the 7th district but the media and my opponent don’t seem to care about those issues,” she said. “But I’m confident that on Nov. 8th voters are going to send a loud message that they want a strong economy, they want a secure border, they want a system that works in regards to holding criminals accountable.”

Both campaigns have raised a ton of money, too, with Spanberger pulling in nearly $8 million to Vega’s close to $3 million – whopping totals for a Congressional race. And that doesn’t count the special interest groups also running ads against the two.

The district was reconfigured last year, and changes throughout the COVID pandemic have reflected more people of color in Prince William County with a portion of Blacks and Hispanics (Vega is Salvadoran) that hadn’t been part of Spanberger’s previous races. Both have been lobbying for the minority vote.

J. Miles Coleman, the associate editor for Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said the race leans for Spanberger but isn’t a given to be in her favor.

“This is actually a more Democratic district than what she used to have but the other flipside of that is it’s more diverse as well,” he said. “Even though we favor Spanberger very slightly, this is a district that you have a lot of moderate voters who are sort of in the middle.”

Both campaigns have brought in big-gun surrogates such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin for Vega and New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and even Republicans for Spanberger.

Vega thinks she has the right message.

“Our country is at a crossroads. Americans, Virginians here in the 7th district are experiencing record-high inflation and having to make those difficult decisions about putting food on the table for their families or pumping gas,” she said.

For the incumbent, the choice for voters is simple. And that’s choosing her experience and results, she said.

“I’m telling people who I am, what it is I’ve been working for, what it is I’ve done for my constituents,” Spanberger said. “And frankly the contrast between my opponent and me is very clear and I am trying to make clear the contrast in policies and plans, I have them, I have legislation that I support.”