WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7th) taking on a new role in the Democratic Caucus of Congress. She was elected as the first-ever Battleground Leadership Representative.

J. Miles Coleman with the University of Virginia Center for Politics says the position was created during a time of leadership transition for Democrats in Congress.

With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepping down and Republicans taking control of the U.S. House, Coleman says Democrats want a member from a battleground district, or swing district, to represent them in caucus leadership.

He says Spanberger fits the bill considering her success in her own district, the relationships she already has in Congress, and her ability to stand up to leadership within her own party.

"She's going to be the spokesperson for the vulnerable Democrats who were in battleground districts to leadership. To be sort of the eyes and ears of Democratic leadership in a close type of district," said Coleman.

Spanberger beat Pennsylvania Representative Matt Cartwright for the position. Coleman says her effort to define herself as a different type of Democrat while still being loyal to President Joe Biden helped her get elected.

Coleman also says since Spanberger is the first to hold the position, she will have the opportunity to define the role.