By MADISON HIRNEISEN
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Monday a special election following the death of U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Virginia, will be Feb. 21.
The election will fill Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, which was held by Rep. McEachin from 2017 until his death Nov. 28. Rep. McEachin died from complications of colorectal cancer less than three weeks after winning re-election, as previously reported by The Center Square. Rep. McEachin’s funeral was in Richmond last week.
The district, which stretches from Richmond to the North Carolina border, was labeled as a “solid democratic” district by Cook Political Report leading up to the November election. Rep. McEachin defeated his opponent, Republican Leon Benjamin Sr., after winning nearly 65% of the vote.
Mr. Benjamin announced last week he plans to run in the special election.
“[Rep. McEachin] will be remembered for his service to our community, and now I’m running to continue his service to VA-4 in DC,” Mr. Benjamin wrote in a tweet last week.
Virginia Delegate Lamont Bagby, a Democrat from Henrico, announced his plan to run in the special election Monday afternoon. Mr. Babgy, who chairs the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, announced his candidacy in a series of tweets Monday afternoon.
“No one will ever be able to replace Donald McEachin, but I promised him, his wife Colette and his children that his legacy would live on forever,” Mr. Bagby wrote. “We will be thinking of him when issues like Environmental Justice and Criminal Justice Reform come up.”
Another Democrat, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, is also expected to formally announce her campaign this week. A spokesperson for Sen. McClellan told WRIC last week that she is “very likely to run.” Both Mr. Bagby and Sen. McClellan have filed paperwork to run.
Joseph Preston, a former Democratic member of the House of Delegates who served for one year, also announced his campaign for the vacant seat Monday, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Virginia’s 4th Congressional District is home to more than 629,000 voters – roughly 30% of which live in Richmond, according to VPAP.
The deadline for candidates to file for the special election is Dec. 23.