How Leadership and Teamwork can Win the Day.

Vangie Williams isn’t what you’d expect when you think of a typical Democratic congressional candidate. Immaculately dressed in her signature red blazer, Vangie Williams has a story to tell. Homeless as a young girl due to addiction problems within her family, Vangie found herself bouncing between low-wage jobs before eventually climbing the ranks of a large scale government contractor. But it’s not just this classic American success story that grabs your attention. It’s Vangie’s district — Virginia’s 1st.

A traditional Republican stronghold within an increasingly blue state, Virginia’s 1st District hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in over twenty years. Nor, with the exception of Mark Warner’s 2008 run for Senate, has it ever voted for a Democrat in a statewide race. But as Vangie passes out one of her bumper stickers, it’s clear that she’s not daunted by her ruby red district. “If you need 30 bullets to kill a deer, you need to go fishing,” it reads. Vangie — pushing for sensible gun legislation, single-payer healthcare, and increased quality of early education — isn’t backing down from her principles.

But pundits shouldn’t count Vangie out yet simply because she’s a stalwart Democrat in a red district. Vangie, after years of balancing a large family with overseeing various projects at work, is nothing if not pragmatic. As her campaign manager wizzes through slides with a practiced, almost casual delivery, and her political director interjects with relevant facts and statistics, it’s clear the Vangie has built a first-rate team. And after defeating two strong contenders during t the primary, it seems that Vangie’s knack for management is paying off. It’s this fact alone that should scare Vangie’s Republican opponent, Rob Wittman, the most. In a year where the Democratic base is more energized than ever, Vangie Williams possesses the leadership skills and the team that might just engineer an upset.