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Special election for late Congressman Donald McEachin’s seat is Tuesday

Leon Benjamin (R) and State Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D) face off for seat of late Congressman Donald McEachin.
Posted at 6:37 PM, Feb 18, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Central Virginians who live in the 4th Congressional District will get to cast their vote Tuesday for who will succeed the late Congressman Donald McEachin.

It has been just under three months since the passing of the 61-year-oldprominent Richmonder, who was reelected for his fourth term just weeks before he died. His family said he died after a years-long battle with complications from colorectal cancer.

Don McEachin
FILE - U.S. Rep. Don McEachin D-4th. waves during a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. McEachin died Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, after a battle with colorectal cancer, his office said. He was 61. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

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State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat, will face Leon Benjamin, a Republican, in a special election to fill the Congressional Seat.

Both candidates are stumping this weekend to make their final push to connect with voters.

McClellan spent Saturday going door-to-door of homes and businesses with labor leaders, community members and lawmakers like Sen. Tim Kaine.

“We’re just very excited there is a lot of enthusiasm and people are ready to make history,” she said.

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State Sen. Jennifer McClellan
State Sen. Jennifer McClellan

If elected, McClellan would be the first Black woman to represent Virginia in Congress. In December she overwhelmingly won the Democratic Firehouse Primary.

The corporate attorney who has been a Virginia lawmaker since 2006 said she plans to advocate for voting rights, access to healthcare, education and addressing climate change and creating jobs.

“I got interested in government because I understood at a young age it can be a powerful tool for helping people," she said. "I’ve spent my life doing that and I’m ready to do it on a bigger level and help more people."

Leon Benjamin
Leon Benjamin

Benjamin also spent Saturday door knocking with community members as well as holding a Get Out the Vote Rally Saturday night.

“I’m feeling great. This is what it is all about. Seeing the change and the potential to see a whole community come together,” he shared.

Benjamin, a pastor and Navy veteran who twice unsuccessfully challenged McEachin for the seat, said he wants to bring hope to the community that he can instill change.

Benjamin said if elected he would focus on education, crime, curtailing government spending and job creation.

“It’s about us being humans again. We all bleed the same blood," he said. "So when they look at me they should see the people's choice. They should see freedom. They should see unity. They should see love."

Early voting for the race is now closed. Virginians who live in the 4th Congressional District can cast their vote for the special election on Tuesday between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Click here for more information from the Virginia Department of Elections.

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