RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has set a Feb. 21 special election to fill Virginia’s 4th Congressional District seat, which Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) held before his sudden death on Nov. 28.
Potential candidates to fill the U.S. House seat left vacant after McEachin’s death have until Dec. 23, at 5 p.m. to file with the U.S. Federal Election Commission, according to the writ of election from Youngkin.
The timeline gives candidates more than two months to campaign for the seat, but the special election comes more than a month after the new Congress convenes.
Two state Democrats have already filed paperwork to run — Del. Lamont Bagby (Henrico) and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (Richmond). Another Democrat, former state delegate Joseph Preston, announced plans to seek the 4th District seat.
Republicans Leon Benjamin, who lost to McEachin in November, and Dale Sturdifen, a former Mecklenburg County School Board chairman, are running to be the GOP nominees.
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. His office has vowed to represent the district until a new representative is elected.
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.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.