Virginia could become the first state to have a Black woman in Congress

The Virginia Democratic House of Representatives in the Fourth Congressional District: Candidates for the Special Election for Donald McEachin’s Term

Virginia Democrats will choose a nominee on Tuesday for the special election to fill the term of the late Rep. Donald McEachin, who died in November just weeks after winning reelection.

Alexsis Rodgers said that as many candidates as possible can take part in the democratic process through a firehouse primary. The Fourth Congressional District Democrats are committed to holding a transparent and expedient process to select a nominee.

The balance of power in the US House is likely to be unaffected by the outcome of the general election in February because the nominee is favorite in what has been a reliably Democratic district.

Her election to the US House of Representatives is a milestone for Virginia, a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy and is a former slave-trading center. According to the data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, McClellan’s victory will add to the existing records of women and women of color in Congress, and a new record for the number of Black women.

The Democratic congressional delegation in Virginia and other local officials have endorsed McClellan, a close ally of Kaine’s, after he campaign with her over the weekend. Democrats will not know their nominee until Wednesday, at the earliest, when the counting of ballots begins.

The Voting Legacy of Senate Majority Leader J. J. McClellan and the Election of February 21, 2015, a Rapid Turnaround for the Virginia Democratic Party

The coalescing around McClellan was influenced in part by the campaign of scandal-plagued state Sen. Joe Morrissey. His feuds with the party establishment may be part of his appeal among some disenchanted partisans, but his critics point to a more damaging history, including his resignation from the state House in 2014 after a misdemeanor conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor – a 17-year-old part-time staffer at his law office with whom he had sex and exchanged nude photos. He believed the woman to be 18 at the time, but argued that he was in his 50s. Morrissey and the woman have several children. The state Supreme Court upheld the revocation of a law license that was stripped twice by Morrissey.

The state party’s decision to hold the primary on a Tuesday would hurt voter turnout, said Morrissey. In announcing his run, Morrissey called himself a “worker bee” while highlighting his work on criminal justice reform.

The primary was run by the Democratic Party, with balloting at eight sites located throughout the district. All registered voters in Virginia are allowed to cast a vote, no matter their political party, as long as they sign a pledge to support the party’s nominee.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin last Monday set the date of the special election for February 21, creating a quick turnaround as the parties need to formally select their candidates by December 23.

McClellan won the Democratic nomination for the 4th Congressional District in December, defeating fellow state Sen. Joe Morrissey and two other candidates in a “firehouse primary,” which was conducted by party officials across a handful of pop-up voting locations. She took 85% of the vote to Morrissey’s 14%, according to the Virginia Democratic Party. McClellan was backed by party leaders and groups, including House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark and the moderate-backing Democratic Majority for Israel PAC.

McClellan said she is interested in joining the Armed Services, Agriculture and Foreign Affairs Committees, though said she’d be “happy with whatever I get.” She is excited to join the Congressional Black Caucus.

“This is a bittersweet day for me as I continue to mourn a friend but hear the call to carry on his legacy and carry my servant leadership to Washington,” McClellan said.

A Republican Candidate in Virginia who voted for the House Minority Electoral Representative A. Donald McEachin, Rev. Jennifer McClellan

Benjamin, a Navy veteran and pastor, won the GOP nomination at a party canvass on Saturday. His first two bids for the seat were unsuccessful, and this time he is going for it again.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan has overwhelmingly won the Democratic nomination to succeed the late A. Donald McEachin in Congress, party officials said Thursday.

McClellan, a former prosecutor turned defense lawyer who was twice-disbarred, was the target of a Democratic campaign coalesced around her.

A number of high-profile endorsers, including the widow of McEachin, were in agreement with McClellan. Del. Lamont Bagby dropped out of the race last week in a move widely seen as an effort to prevent Morrissey from emerging victorious on a fractured ballot.

Voting occurred Tuesday but the party did not begin counting ballots until Wednesday. The party announced results Thursday at 4 a.m.

“I want all people to feel like they can have a place in government,” the Democrat told CNN in November, prior to winning an open-seat race for Vermont’s at-large district. “If my breaking these glass ceilings enables people to see themselves in those roles, that is really exciting to me.”

Along with being Vermont’s first female member of Congress, Balint is also the first out LGBTQ person elected to Washington from the Green Mountain State.

The state’s at-large House seat became vacant after Democratic incumbent Peter Welch — who was first elected in 2006 — decided on an ultimately successful Senate run to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, who was himself first elected in 1974.

She will serve as vice chair of the new members of the House Progressive Caucus. She previously told CNN that she wants to address the housing crisis, and find more resources for mental health in her home state. But “first and foremost” on her list, she said, is “the health of our democracy.”

The Richmond-Viengina-Congress Mentor Project: Michelle McClellan in the Lead-Up to Tuesday’s Special Election

Both Democrats and Republicans made strides in diversifying their congressional ranks in the November midterm elections, with several historic milestones reached and a record number of women elected.

McClellan said that the work can help people, even if sound bites and shows aren’t all that important. We will make this commonwealth and this country a better place for everyone.”

McEachin had held the heavily Democrat district, which covers the city of Richmond, parts of Henrico County, and south toward the state line, for two years. He overwhelmingly defeated Benjamin in 2022 for the seat with 69.4% of the vote.

McClellan outraised and outspent Benjamin in the lead-up to Tuesday’s special election, according to their respective campaigns’ pre-special election reports filed on February 9.

“It’s a tremendous honor but it’s also a tremendous responsibility because I need to make sure I’m not the last,” McClellan said after casting her ballot. I have a duty to be a mentor and help pave the way for other Black women, whether it’s running for federal office or running at local or state.

In 2020, she launched a bid for governor, eventually coming in third in the 2021 Democratic primary. She said that her bid for the US House was a level up from her previous campaigns.


Reply to McClellan: ‘It’s going to be hard to win, but it will take a village to the next level’

“That I had that team ready to go when the special came and it made it very easy to build a very fast campaign. And that the importance of having not only a message that resonates with voters but the resources to communicate it. She said that she was able to pull all three together quickly because both are important and that the field organization is very important.

McClellan told CNN she plans to continue her work on issues including voting rights, education and access to health care, but she may be met with challenges in the US House. The majority of Republicans in the chamber make the chances of passing a Democratic-backed priority slim. The Republicans are still in the minority in the Senate and they have already blocked the advancement of previous voting rights measures.

McClellan was a member of the minority party for 14 years. “I learned two things. One, you really need to listen and understand why people believe what they believe, where they are coming from. Sometimes, you will find common ground when you do that. “So, start from that and then see how far you can go. You should persist until you succeed and I’ve had success doing that at the state level.

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