Youngkin announces special election to fill late Rep. McEachin’s seat

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Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has announced a special election to fill the seat of Representative A. Donald McEachin in the 4th congressional district, who died Nov. 28 after a long battle with the secondary effects of colorectal cancer treatment.

The special election will take place on February 21, giving potential contenders more than two months to campaign. The application deadline for candidates is December 23.

Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) and Senator Jennifer L. McClellan (D-Richmond), who ran for governor last year, have both filed paperwork to run for the seat; Bagby is expected to formally announce his campaign later Monday.

Given that each is the top two leaders of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus — Bagby the chairman and McClellan vice chairman — their likely candidacies could spark a heated rivalry in the deep-blue, majority-minority 4th district, which stretches from Richmond. to the North Carolina border.

Joseph Preston, a lawyer, also announced his campaign for the seat on Monday. Preston served one year in the House of Representatives in 2015 after winning a special election to fill the seat of Rosalyn Dance, who was elected to the Senate. Just months into his tenure, Preston decided to challenge Dance in a primary for her Senate seat, which he lost.

The 4th Ward seat is expected to remain securely democratic; three weeks before he died, McEachin won a fourth term by 30 points against his Republican challenger, Leon Benjamin.

McEachin, who had served in both the Virginia House of Delegates and the state During his political career, he was first elected to Congress in 2016. During his tenure, the attorney and ordained minister developed a reputation for fierce advocacy for civil rights and environmental justice, paying close attention to how climate change and pollutants are disproportionately impacting for underprivileged or minority communities.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and suffered further complications from the treatment in 2018.

Bagby has described him as a mentor.

“Donald McEachin has spent his entire career building an incredible legacy for this community that we will never forget. Without him I wouldn’t be here. Tomorrow I’ll tell you how I plan to help build on the McEachin legacy for the next generation,” Bagby wrote on Twitter on Sundaywith which he teased his campaign announcement.

McClellan held McEachin’s seat in the Senate when he was elected to Congress and noted in a statement after his death that they had been friends for more than 20 years.

Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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