As of writing, Democrat Jennifer McClellan is expected to take the win in the U.S. House special election being carried out In Virginia which was sparked by a seat being left open in the wake of the death of Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) last year.
A number of news outlets sounded the call on Tuesday night with less than an hour left before the polls shut down. With close to 86% of precincts officially reporting, McClellan led with well over 73% of the vote against Republican Leon Benjamin with roughly 27%.
McClellan’s path to victory is being marked as quite historic due to her being set to be the first black woman to represent Congress from Virginia.
✅ @JennMcClellanVA has won her race for the U.S. Congress in VA-04!
She is the first Black congresswoman to be elected in the Commonwealth of Virginia. pic.twitter.com/hiZrjY83Je
— Virginia Democrats (@vademocrats) February 22, 2023
“On the day that would have been John Lewis’ 83rd birthday, Virginia voters elected the first black woman to Congress. Congratulations to my new colleague, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan,” stated Ritchie Torres (D-NY), seemingly making reference to John Lewis, the late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman.
McClellan works currently as a corporate lawyer who has severed as someone in the Virginia state legislature since 2006. She ended up running for governor back in 2021, but ended up taking third place during the primary race for the Democrats. Terry McAuliffe, who is a former governor, was able to secure that primary but ended up losing the general election to Glenn Youngkin.
McEachin, who has been a congressman since 2017, ended up passing away at 61 years of age this past November due to complications stemming from his multi-year-long battle with cancer, just a scant few weeks after winning his re-election.
As part of this year’s race to win the Richmond-area district, pre-special election reports showed McClellan managed to out-raise and outspend Benjamin, a known Navy vet and pastor, as reported by CNN.
McClellan currently sports a “record of results, championing the passage of major progressive laws and fighting on behalf of her constituents in greater Richmond for the past 17 years,” as stated by her website. To go along with listing the array of McClellan’s legislative accomplishments, the website states that the Democrat has worked with a “commitment for progress, equity, and justice in the Commonwealth.”
This particular race ended will not change much as it will not shift the power dynamic throughout the House, where Republicans maintain a slim majority. Democrats still maintain control of both the Senate and the White House.