RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Democrats in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District will vote Tuesday for the party’s nominee in the Feb. 21 special election to fill the late Rep. A. Donald McEachin’s seat.

The state party’s 4th Congressional District Committee will hold a firehouse primary — a primary run by the party — on Dec. 20 to select the candidate.

Registered voters in the 4th District willing to sign a pledge saying they are a Democrat and won’t support an opposing candidate that the party’s nominee in the special election can go to one of eight locations from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice during the one-day primary.

These locations include:

  • Brunswick Conference Center – 100 Athletic Field Rd, Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868
  • Dogtown Dance Studio – 109 W 15th St, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Diversity Richmond – 1407 Sherwood Ave, Richmond, VA 23220
  • IBEW Local 666 – 1390 E Nine Mile Rd, Highland Springs VA 23075
  • Tabernacle Baptist Church – 444 Halifax St, Petersburg, VA 23803
  • Meadowdale Library – 4301 Meadowdale Blvd, North Chesterfield, VA 23234
  • Surry Parks & Recreation Center – 205 Enos Farm Drive, Surry, VA 23883
  • Charles City Government Center – 10900 Courthouse Road, Charles City, VA 23030

Voters need to bring one form of identification required by the state before casting a ballot in the primary.

Virginia’s Republican Party’s 4th Congressional District Committee had a Dec. 17 party canvass with ranked-choice voting to select the GOP candidate.

The canvass — essentially a party-run primary — was held at the Life Christian Academy (1221 Boulevard, Colonial Heights, VA 23834) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

When the first round of votes were counted, Leon Benjamin had won over 50% of the vote and took the Republican nomination.

A look at Virginia’s 4th District

Virginia’s 4th Congressional District (courtesy of the Supreme Court of Virginia)

Virginia’s 4th Congressional District remains a Democratic stronghold despite changes after the state’s redistricting process. In November, Rep. McEachin won reelection in the new district with nearly 65% of the vote.

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. The district still encompasses the cities of Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights.

  • Localities added to new 4th District: Brunswick
  • Localities no longer in the 4th District: Cities of Chesapeake and Suffolk

Democrats running for the 4th District seat

Four Democratic candidates qualified to run for the party’s nomination in the special election, including two state lawmakers, a former state delegate and a businessman.

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) was declared the winner of Virginia’s 4th Congressional District Democratic firehouse primary on Dec. 22.

With the win, Sen. McClellan (D-Richmond) appears poised to become the first Black woman to represent the commonwealth in Congress. The Richmond-area congressional seat leans heavily in favor of Democrats.

McClellan received nearly 85% of the vote in the firehouse primary, easily defeating her opponents: State Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), Joseph Preston, an attorney and former Democratic state delegate, and Tavorise Marks, a civil rights advocate and entrepreneur who previously ran for the House of Delegates.

Democrats running for the seat needed to pay a $3,480 filing fee (2% of the $174,000 starting salary of a Congress member), submit 150 signatures from registered voters in the district and a declaration of candidacy to the 4th District committee by noon on Dec. 16, according to the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Republicans pick nominee for the 4th District race

Virginia’s Republican Party announced on Dec. 14 that the GOP nominee in the special election would be picked through a Dec. 17 party canvass with ranked-choice voting.

Republicans Leon Benjamin, who lost to McEachin in November, Dale Sturdifen, a former Mecklenburg County School Board chairman, and Derrick Hollie, the president of Reaching America and a podcast host, ran for the nomination.

Benjamin won the Republican nomination in a party-run canvass on Dec. 17.

Independent running

Elliott Cox-Wardrick, a social worker and company owner, filed paperwork on Dec. 19 with the Federal Election Commission to run as an independent candidate in the Feb. 21 special election.

Update: This story was updated after the victories from McClellan and Benjamin.