State Sen. Jennifer McClellan greets voters at Dogtown Dance Studio during the 4th District Democratic primary in Richmond, Virginia on December 20, 2022. Photo: Ryan M. Kelly for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Democratic state Sen. Jennifer McClellan is heading to Congress after clinching a victory Tuesday in a special election to represent the state's 4th Congressional District.
The big picture: McClellan, who beat conservative pastor Leon Benjamin (R), will become Virginia's first Black congresswoman after her victory, according to the Associated Press.
- McClellan's victory was largely expected in the deep-blue congressional district, which spans from the Richmond area to the North Carolina border.
- Benjamin previously ran for the seat twice, and lost by large margins in both elections.
Background: McClellan will fill the seat previously held by Rep. Don McEachin, who died last year from complications due to colorectal cancer.
Zoom out: McClellan has represented Richmond in the General Assembly since 2006. She mounted an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor in 2021.
- McClellan on the campaign trail highlighted her legislative successes in the General Assembly, including abortion protections, a state-level voting rights act and mandating Virginia's transition to renewable electric generation, Axios' Ned Oliver reports.
- Benjamin, a strong supporter of former President Trump, centered his campaign around school choice.
Go deeper… Tributes pour in after Rep. Donald McEachin's death
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