Jenn McClellan Wins Democratic Primary for Va. Congress

Virginia State Sen. Jenn McClellan cruised to victory in the Democratic Primary for Virginia’s 4th congressional district, winning 85% of the vote over Joseph Morrissey and two other challengers.

Jenn McClellan Wins Democratic Primary for Va. Congress
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Facts

  • Virginia State Sen. Jenn McClellan cruised to victory in the Democratic Primary for Virginia’s 4th congressional district, winning 85% of the vote over Joseph Morrissey and two other challengers.
  • Morrissey, a moderate Democrat and state Senator, is a controversial figure in Virginia politics as he was involved in numerous scandals, including a physical altercation in a courtroom, being disbarred twice, and resigning from the House of Delegates following a conviction for his relationship with a 17-year-old receptionist.
  • McClellan is set to succeed the late Rep. Donald McEachin who passed away in November just weeks after securing his re-election. The state held a “firehouse primary” in which party officials held voting in locations in the Richmond area.
  • The race had record turnout as 27.9K ballots were cast despite the party only providing seven voting locations. Turnout exceeded the district’s last state-run primary, held in 2016, by over 12K votes.
  • McClellan is the vice chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and ran unsuccessfully for the 2021 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. She would become the first black woman to represent Virginia in Congress.
  • McClellan has the endorsement of Rep. McEachin’s wife, and she is the overwhelming favorite to win the Feb. 21 special election as "VA-04" is a strongly Democratic-leaning district.

Sources: VA Democrats, Politico, CNN, Axios, NBC, and NPR Online News.

Narratives

  • Progressive narrative, as provided by Progressive Turnout Project. Soon-to-be Congresswoman McClellan’s victory in the VA-04 Democratic primary is also a victory for women and communities of color. She has a proven track record of fighting for all Virginians and is committed to progressive causes like access to affordable health care and reproductive freedom.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The Progress-Index. While this is a victory for a progressive candidate, the process by which these elections were conducted reflected voter suppression. Virginians should not have to be subjected to hours-long lines and their examples of elderly people suffering medical emergencies. The Democratic Party should be ashamed of how this election was conducted