RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - Virginia's most high-profile and competitive congressional race took an eyebrow-raising turn early Tuesday when former FBI Director James Comey went out canvassing for Democrat Jennifer Wexton.
"Voted. Now going to knock on doors to urge everyone to vote," Comey tweeted shortly after 8 a.m. "Should be fun."
A short time later, Comey, who was famously fired by President Donald Trump, showed up at a canvassing launch spot for Wexton, whose opponent, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock, was seeking her third term representing Northern Virginia's 10th Congressional District.
Aaron Fritschner, Wexton's communications director, told Courthouse News that Comey said it was his first time canvassing for a candidate and that he "just wanted to help out."
He was given Wexton stickers, handed a script, and away he went to get out the vote.
Comey and his wife Patrice returned their canvassing packet after knocking on several doors, and the former FBI director offered words of encouragement to a few dozen volunteers who had gathered nearby.
“This is beyond Democrats or Republicans or Independents, this is about the values of our country, and I thank you for what you’re doing today ... we will be ok because of people like you,” Comey said.
Fritschner described the response from voters who saw Comey canvassing as “very positive.”
In previous races, Comstock has relied on support from at least some Democratic-leaning voters to win — a phenomenon that recent polls suggested would not materialize this year.
Joe Richards, of Manassas, was all smiles as he prepared to vote for Wexton in a rainy Prince William County Tuesday morning.
Richards said he was smiling because he was “excited to see a change come to Washington.”
“Comstock has got to go," he said. "I think there will be a lot of unhappy Republicans tonight.”
The former federal employee said while he voted for Comstock in the past, her close allegiance to President Trump made it impossible this time.
The Republican party, he said, is a party "off the rails."
Comstock hadn't lost all of her longtime supporters, however.
Carla Watson, a retiree from Prince William County, told Courthouse News that while Comstock "might not win ... she won’t raise taxes like [challenger Jennifer Wexton] will.”
“That’s too bad. But [Comstock] has got my vote. It was an easy choice,” she said.
Back in Glen Allen, another hotly contested congressional race was that one in which incumbent Republican Rep. Dave Brat was facing off against former CIA Agent and Democrat Abigail Spanberger.
Brat made headlines when he overtook House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the GOP primary two years ago.
But this time out, he faces resistance from suburban mothers, who disagree with several of the positions he's taken.
“I think today showing up and saying we’re tired of what’s happening matters,” said Lynda Reider who said she’d voted for Spanberger as her two twin daughters practiced pirouettes on the steps of the polling precinct.
Reider is the kind of voter Democrats have been courting ever since Trump’s win. She called herself a “Deep South Republican” until Obama’s first election. She said she’s voted for Democrats ever since.