RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Democrat Lamont Bagby will replace Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-Va.) in the Virginia Senate after defeating Republican Stephen Imholt in a special election on Tuesday.

Del. Bagby (D-Henrico), who will now have to vacate his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, is projected to easily win the race, according to unofficial results.

As of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, with 84 of 88 precincts reporting, Bagby has 89.68% of the vote (12,883 votes) while Imholt has just 10.07% (1,446 votes). The results are not official until they are certified by the state elections board.

Bagby will represent the current 9th state Senate District for the rest of McClellan’s term, which ends in January 2024, once he’s sworn in.

“I am grateful for the support we have received throughout the course of this campaign and am honored to be the next State Senator representing the very communities that raised me,” Bagby wrote in a victory announcement. “To all those who joined us, and to those who didn’t, know that this seat belongs to you and my door will always be open.

Bagby, 46, has been in the House of Delegates since 2015 and is the chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. He was seen as a heavy favorite in the blue-leaning Senate district against Imholt, 70, a former IT project manager, after winning the party’s nomination.

The money race between Bagby and Imholt was also lopsided, with the delegate spending and raising more than $200,000 for the quick special election. Imholt’s campaign did not spend the $580 it raised, according to state records.

Unless Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) calls a special session before then, Bagby’s brief stint in the Senate will include one main objective: voting on the governor’s vetoes and amendments to bills during the annual “veto session” on April 12.

Bagby’s victory helps Democrats maintain their two-seat majority in the Virginia Senate, protecting against potential tie-breaking votes by Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears if one were to break from the party on a vote.

The 9th Virginia Senate District includes all of Charles City County and parts of Henrico, Hanover and the city of Richmond. Most of the voters in the district come from Henrico, with nearly 37,000 in the county voting during the last general election in 2019.

Democrats have won the district comfortably since 2011, twice unopposed and twice against Libertarian candidates.

The special election will be the last one in the current 9th District after the state’s political maps underwent a required redistricting process. Del. Bagby is running in the new 14th Virginia Senate district, which is anchored in Richmond, and will have to win a Democratic primary before the November general election.