Another candidate has joined the growing list of those vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) next year.
Lindsey Davis Stover, a communications strategist and former Obama administration official from McLean, launched a campaign website Tuesday and said she will file the paperwork to begin fundraising.
She is part of a flood of first-time candidates seeking public office to counter President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.
Davis Stover said Comstock has voted in lock-step with the Trump administration’s priorities “and has been completely out of touch with our district.”
“She’s even been afraid to hold a town hall meeting. I just think the 10th District deserves someone who will stand up to Donald Trump and put our needs first,” she said in an interview.
Daniel Helmer, an Army veteran, and Kimberly Adams, past president of the Fairfax teacher’s union, have announced their candidacies, and many others, including state Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-Loudoun), are weighing runs.
Comstock is a formidable campaigner who last year outperformed Trump by 16 points to win a second term in a Northern Virginia district that spans the Washington suburbs and conservative counties on the West Virginia border. The race is a top target of national Democratic groups, which say they have a chance to win the well-educated, diverse voters of Loudoun County. Comstock reported raising $506,891 in the first quarter of this year and has $428,506 cash on hand.
During last year’s campaign, Davis Stover hosted weekly phone banks at her home for the coordinated campaign of Comstock’s challenger, LuAnn Bennett, and Hillary Clinton.
Davis Stover criticized Comstock for stating her opposition to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act when it looked as if it would fail; Republicans later pulled the bill from the floor. “Her decision was made when the fate of the bill was already sealed,” she said. “I don’t believe that’s courage — that’s politics, and that’s exactly what people are sick of.”
Through a spokesman, Comstock declined to respond to Davis Stover’s candidacy and comments.
Davis Stover, 38, grew up in Houston and graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in public policy and communications. After college, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and earned the first of two master’s degrees at Baylor.
From there, she went to work for congressman Chet Edwards, who was a member of the House of Representatives,, and rose to chief of staff. A conservative 10-term Democrat from Texas, he was chair of the Appropriations subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs and related agencies.
During a break from Congress, Davis Stover earned a master's degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
After Edwards lost his seat in the Republican wave of 2010, she went to work as the White House liaison to Veterans Affairs and then senior adviser to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki for Strategic Communications.
In 2013, she and Edwards founded a communications firm that specializes in veterans and defense issues. Davis Stover said she developed an expertise in the military through work for Edwards’s subcommittee and by helping her grandfather, a World War II veteran, access benefits when he was in his late 80s.
She and her husband have lived in the congressional district for about six years and have two daughters. Davis Stover is a member of her local Democratic committee, coaches girls soccer and teaches children’s Sunday school at Trinity United Methodist Church.