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Virginia Democrats Pick Jennifer McClellan in Special House Primary

State Senator Jennifer L. has served more than 16 years in the Virginia General Assembly. McClellan, a posthumous representative of the 4th Congressional District. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) later won the Democratic nomination. Month – Became the first black woman to represent Virginia in Congress.

McClellan (D-Richmond) has just seven days of intense campaigning to defeat state Sen. Joseph D. Defeated Morrissey (D-Richmond), starting with three major candidates, Virginia’s Democratic leaders were down to two, barring McClellan. His own way.

McClellan will face Republican Leon Benjamin in a Feb. 21 special election, but the Richmond-based seat is expected to remain blue. Benjamin lost to McEachin by 30 points in last month’s general election. McEachin, who had a long battle with the after-effects of colorectal cancer treatment, died shortly after his re-election.

Virginia Democrats Pick Jennifer McClellan in Special House Primary
Virginia Democrats Pick Jennifer McClellan in Special House Primary

McClellan entered the campaign vowing to continue McEachin’s legacy, and she also had the blessing of his widow, Collette McEachin. McLellan succeeded McEachin in the state Senate after being elected to Congress in 2016 and has been friends with him for two decades.

“He’s a 4th-term champion, a social justice champion, who really brings a servant’s heart to solving problems and improving people’s lives, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 17 years — fighting for opportunity for many communities that are often overlooked,” McClellan, 49, said in an interview last week.

As she vowed to build on McEachin’s work in Congress on environmental justice, she advocated for major environmental legislation that became law, such as the Virginia Clean Economy Act. McClellan, the first woman to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates while pregnant, prioritized women’s and family issues, including fighting for the rights of domestic workers and leading efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

After the overturning of Roe v. Wade As such, she pointed to her leadership on abortion rights legislation in Virginia — a stark contrast to Morrissey, who opposes abortion. “Every problem is a women’s problem. There are some that specifically affect women and black women.

But every issue sometimes affects us in a way that our voice and our perspective aren’t heard because we don’t have a seat at the table,” McClellan said in the interview, “and it’s really time for Virginia’s congressional delegation to have that. voice and that perspective.”

Still, months removed from the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe, scores of women at polling places across the district on Tuesday said they felt fired up to vote for McClellan to protect abortion rights and women’s rights. “I’ve known Joe for a long time. He’s a fighter for people.

“A warrior, too — but Jennifer is more in touch with women,” said Varina resident Sharon Broaddus, 72. She also said she was put off by some of Morrissey’s past controversies. He married as an adult and earned the nickname “Fighting Joe” after several courtroom fistfights.

“Joe has a history,” she said. McClellan is “sound. She cares about people. She’s genuine.” Almost the party Support from every corner helped win, including the support of all eight Democrats in Virginia’s congressional delegation, as well as many state and local leaders.

In fact, one political analyst, Bob Holsworth, described Morrissey’s race against “the entire Democratic establishment.” McClellan gave her perhaps the biggest boost after Del. Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) — chair of the Black Caucus — decided to drop out of the race.

Dueling battles between the two black caucus leaders threatened to split the black vote and tested the loyalty of Richmond politicians close to the two lawmakers. The situation reminded some of when McClellan and former delegate Jennifer Carol Foy each launched bids to become the first black female governor, but both lost to Terry McAuliffe in the Democratic primary last year.


But Bagby’s exit in this race spared politicians and voters those tough choices, with many of his supporters lining up behind McClellan instead. Morrissey wanted Democratic Party leaders to “anoint” McClellan and politicize voting positions.


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