RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Del. Lamont Bagby is running for the Democratic nomination in the upcoming special election to fill the U.S. House seat left vacant after the death of Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), a person with direct knowledge of his plans told 8News.
Del. Bagby (D-Henrico), the chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, plans to make the announcement official next week, the person told 8News Friday.
Bagby, a mentee of McEachin, told 8News after McEachin’s sudden passing that he’s always wanted to follow in his “big brother’s footsteps.” He and several others honored McEachin as the late congressman was laid to rest Wednesday.
The Democratic state delegate all but confirmed a run in a series of tweets Thursday, noting his efforts in Virginia’s legislature, taking aim at Gov. Glenn Youngkin and teasing “a major announcement.”
“Yesterday we celebrated the life of one of the greatest public servants our community has ever seen,” Bagby wrote. “@RepMcEachin made us all enormously proud. Today we pick up the torch to continue the legacy he left us and build upon it just as he would have wanted.”
Speculation over who else could put their name in the hat for the 4th District, a Democratic stronghold, has swirled. One of them, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), is considering a run to be Richmond’s next Congress member.
“Senator McClellan deeply respects Congressman McEachin’s tremendous legacy and is honored that community leaders have encouraged her to run for this seat. She takes the responsibility of this legacy seriously, and she is very likely to run,” her spokesperson Jared Leopold said in a statement.
McClellan, a longtime state legislator who ran for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2021, will announce her next steps by early next week, Leopold added.
McEachin easily won reelection to represent Virginia’s 4th District in Congress, a seat he held since 2017, just a few weeks before his death after a battle with colorectal cancer, according to a press release from his office.
Like the rest of the country, Virginia had to redraw its political boundaries using new census data. The Virginia Supreme Court finalized the state’s redistricting process last December, reconfiguring the Commonwealth’s 11 congressional districts for the 2022 midterms.
The city of Richmond still has the largest share of voters in the 4th Congressional District, but the new boundaries moved west to include Brunswick County.
Republican Leon Benjamin, who McEachin defeated in November and in 2020, plans to run for the GOP nomination in the special election. Gov. Youngkin will set the special election for the 4th District, which McEachin’s office will serve until a representative is elected.
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