Democrat McClellan Elected as Virginia's First Black Congresswoman
Virginia Democratic state Sen. Jennifer McClellan was elected on Tuesday to represent Virginia’s 4th US Congressional District, making her the first Black woman elected to Congress from the state.
- Virginia Democratic state Sen. Jennifer McClellan was elected on Tuesday to represent Virginia’s 4th US Congressional District, making her the first Black woman elected to Congress from the state.
- McClellan defeated Republican Leon Benjamin, a Navy veteran and local pastor, to fill the seat formerly held by Rep. A. Donald McEachin, who passed away in November.
- When the polls closed, McClellan — who has served in Virginia's legislature since 2006 — had received 72% of the vote against Benjamin’s 28%.
- The late McEachin had held the seat since 2017. He won the overwhelmingly Democratic district, which includes Richmond, and part of Henrico County and Petersburg, with 69.4% of the vote in 2022, a race in which Benjamin also competed.
- This victory was personal for McClellan, who has long served in the General Assembly and won a four-way primary in the 4th District race, as her grandparents and parents grew up in the Jim Crow South where they had to overcome obstacles to voting, including poll taxes and literacy tests.
- The Republican majority in the House currently stands at a slim 222-213, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy struggling to reconcile the conflict between the moderate and hard-line factions of the GOP.
Sources: NPR Online News, New York Times, Daily Caller, CNN, Daily Mail, and Forbes.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by MSNBC. After exceeding expectations in the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats are continuing their electoral momentum. McClellan’s historic victory, aside from being a source of celebration on its own, comes amid Democratic victories in similar races in New Hampshire and Kentucky. The Party's progressive message is obviously resonating nationwide.
- Republican narrative, as provided by Daily Wire. In terms of identity politics, McClellan’s win is something to celebrate. However, Republicans still maintain their House majority. The emphasis lawmakers are putting on this result shows voters that the Democratic Party is more concerned with a racial headcount than they are with helping the American people. The GOP are the ones truly concerned with policymaking and representing the interests of ordinary voters.