Democrat Jennifer McClellan is projected to win the U.S. House special election in Virginia for the seat left open after the death of Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) last year.
Multiple news outlets made the call Tuesday evening less than an hour after the polls closed. With 86% of precincts reporting, McClellan led with about 73% of the vote over Republican Leon Benjamin with roughly 27%.
McClellan’s march to victory is being touted as historic because she is poised to become the first black woman to represent Congress from Virginia.
“On the day that would have been John Lewis’ 83rd birthday, Virginia voters elected the first black woman to Congress. Congratulations to my new colleague, Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan,” tweeted Ritchie Torres (D-NY), referring to the late civil rights leader and U.S. congressman John Lewis.
McClellan is a corporate lawyer who has served as a member of the Virginia state legislature since 2006. She ran for governor in 2021, but got third place in the Democratic primary. Terry McAuliffe, a former governor, won that primary but lost the general election to Glenn Youngkin.
McEachin, a U.S. congressman since 2017, died at the age of 61 in November from complications stemming from his years-long battle with cancer weeks after winning re-election.
The race will not change the power dynamic in the House, where Republicans hold a slim majority. Democrats control the Senate and the White House.
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