What’s next for Virginia’s fourth congressional district

A truncated election is on the horizon for those living in Virginia’s fourth congressional district after McEachin's death.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 1:49 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A truncated election is on the horizon for those living in Virginia’s fourth congressional district after the death of Rep. Donald McEachin.

“The action is on the Democratic side. This district is very substantially Democratic and it’s highly highly likely that a Democrat will be elected to succeed Don McEachin,” said Larry Sabato, UVa Center for Politics.

Donald McEachin served three terms in the U.S. House representing much of the Richmond area. He...
Donald McEachin served three terms in the U.S. House representing much of the Richmond area. He died on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.(WWBT)

For Democrats, a number of potential names to run are swirling around including Henrico Del. Lamont Bagby, Richmond State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, former Petersburg Del. Lashrecse Aird and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

“So you have to give time for people to campaign, but you also want to have somebody in that seat quickly so the constituents in the fourth are not unrepresented,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia.

Another potential contender, according to Democrats, is Colette McEachin. The Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney shares her late husband’s name and is no stranger to politics.

“Certainly the widow would be the first choice if indeed she wants to run and that doesn’t guarantee that the field would be cleared,” said Sabato.

The head of the state’s Republican party says they’ve had no formal talks about potential candidates, and will leave the nominee process up to the Fourth District’s Republican Committee.

“This is a very truncated process and will involve a lower turnout universe of voters, but nonetheless it will command a lot of attention,” said Rich Anderson, Republican Party of Virginia.

Last month, then-candidate Leon Benjamin received only about 35% of the vote on election night. But Benjamin confirms to NBC12 that he is considering another run.

“We will see if former candidate Leon Benjamin makes a decision to run or not,” said Anderson.

Meanwhile, Sabato says it’s important to have an election sooner rather than later. A new Congress comes to power next month with some early critical votes.