Who’s running for the 4th District seat?

Several names are swirling around for who will fill the 4th District seat in the U.S. House of...
Several names are swirling around for who will fill the 4th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 11:28 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2022 at 2:20 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The list is growing for those running for 4th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The seat is open following the death of Donald McEachin in November.

A special election to fill the seat will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. Democrats will hold a “Firehouse Primary” on Dec. 20 (more details on that below) to determine its candidate.



Jennifer McClellan

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan announced on Dec. 13 that she is running.

“For the past 16 years, I’ve served the people of Virginia in the General Assembly and passed major laws to protect abortion rights, safeguard voting rights and tackle climate change,” she said. “Now, I’m running for Congress to continue my friend Donald McEachin’s legacy of serving the people of Virginia and making sure their voices are heard in Washington, D.C.”

McClellan currently represents the state Senate’s 9th District, which includes Charles City County and parts of Henrico County, Hanover County and the city of Richmond.

Joe Morrissey

State Sen. Joe Morrissey joined the race on Dec. 13.

“I am running because I know that I can continue my work on the federal level with criminal justice reform, cleaning up our environment, expanding access to healthcare, and making housing more affordable,” he said.

Morrissey currently represents the state’s 16th District, which includes the cities of Petersburg and Hopewell and portions of Chesterfield, Dinwiddie and Prince George counties, as well as part of the city of Richmond.

Joseph Preston

Attorney Joseph Preston, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates is running.

Preston believes there should be a debate on the Democratic side before the Firehouse Primary.

Tavorise Marks

Tavorise K. Marks - founder of Commonwealth Equal - also announced that he’s running.

“The 4th Congressional district deserves a proven fighter, advocate and activist to be their next representative in DC,” he said in a Twitter post.

Lamont Bagby

Del. Lamont Bagby, who announced on Dec. 12 that he is running, dropped out of the race on Thursday, Dec. 15.


Leon Benjamin

Leon Benjamin, the Republican who lost to McEachin in November, is running again for the seat.

“We have plenty of stuff to do in this very short time,” he said. “We are all hands on deck and we are asking for everyone’s prayers and their help.”

He’s a father of three, was born in Richmond and served as a Navy pilot.

On election night, he received about 35% of the vote.

Dale Sturdifen

Dale Sturdifen, the former Mecklenburg County School Board chairman, says he’s filing his paperwork to run.


The 4th District Democratic Committee announced that it will hold a “Firehouse Primary” on Tuesday, Dec. 20 to determine the candidate who will appear on the special election ballot.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

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

Anyone who considers themselves a Democrat and is a registered voter in the 4th District can cast their ballot at any of the locations. Voters will need to bring one of the same methods of identification that are required to vote in a normal state-run election.

Click/tap here for more information about the primary.


Republicans will hold a Congressional District Party Canvass to select its nominee on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Anyone who considers themselves a Republican and is a registered voter in the 4th District may participate in the canvass between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Life Christian Academy at 1211 Boulevard in Colonial Heights.

Voters will be asked to rank all candidates on the ballot in order of their preference.

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