McClellan wins 4th District House seat in special election
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Democrat Jennifer McClellan has won the 4th District U.S. House seat, defeating Leon Benjamin in a special election on Tuesday.
McClellan, currently a state senator, will fill the seat held by the late Donald McEachin, who died in November.
McEachin was a three-time congressman and had won re-election last year.
McClellan makes history as the first Black woman elected to Congress in Virginia.
“This district over 100 years ago sent John Mercer Langston to Congress as the first African American in Virginia, this city helped send the second, Bobby Scott, and then we sent Donald McEachin,” McClellan said at her election celebration. “That is quite a legacy and I look forward to building on that legacy.”
McClellan started off her speech Tuesday night by thanking McEachin for his service and his wife for her support.
“Thank you to Collette for sharing him with us and for giving me her blessing to embark on this journey to carry on his legacy, he is with us in this room,” McClellan said.
NBC12 spoke to Republican candidate Leon Benjamin, ahead of results pouring in, and he said over the special election he heard from voters who wanted to see change.
“I just want to thank all the voters, thank all of those that prayed, all of those that stayed, and all of those that just dug in for us,” Benjamin said.
At the end of her speech, McClellan said she looks forward to taking her 18 years of leadership and all the work she’s accomplished to Washington.
“I am ready to get to work, I got a little more work to do down the street but when we are done, I am ready to fight for you in Congress for as long as you will have me,” McClellan said.
Election officials said Tuesday that voter turnout was slow, but steady throughout the 4th District, which spans from the Richmond area down to the North Carolina border.
The Department of Elections said that more than 41,000 people took part in early voting.
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