Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Monday scheduled a special election for Feb. 21 to replace the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D).
McEachin, who was first elected to represent Virginia’s 4th Congressional District in 2016, died at the age of 61 late last month after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
The district, which stretches from Richmond to the North Carolina border, is heavily Democratic, and McEachin handily won a fourth term weeks before his death.
Two Democrats — state Del. Lamont Bagby and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan — have already filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to run for the seat.
Bagby and McClellan serve as the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.
Bagby is expected to make a formal announcement on Monday afternoon after tweeting on Sunday, “Tomorrow I will tell you how I plan to help build on the McEachin legacy for the next generation. Tune in here starting at 1 pm!”
Leon Benjamin, the GOP nominee for the district in November’s election who lost to McEachin by 29 points, similarly said he will run to replace him in February.
“@RepMcEachin will be remembered for his service to our community, & now I’m running to continue his service to #VA4 in DC,” Benjamin wrote prior to Youngkin’s announcement of the election date, although he has not formally filed his candidacy paperwork.
During his nearly six years in the House, McEachin emerged as a leading voice on issues including environmental inequalities, serving on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
He was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and served in both chambers of Virginia’s bicameral legislature before being elected to the House in 2016.
McEachin’s staff have indicated they will continue their constituent services operations until a new lawmaker is elected to replace their former boss.
The Virginia Democrat’s death marks the fourth member of Congress to pass away this year.