Democrat Jennifer McClellan makes Virginia history as the first Black woman to be represent the state in Congress.
McClellan, 50, defeated Republican nominee Leon Benjamin Sr. in the state’s 4th District, which stretches from Richmond to the North Carolina border.
With 289 of 302 precincts reporting, McClellan had 74.22 percent of the vote, or 80,751 votes, for the House of Representatives seat, according to the unofficial results posted by the Virginia Department of Elections. The results will be official once the elections board certifies them.
McClellan, a member of the Virginia General Assembly, will fill the seat vacated by Rep. Donald McEachin, who died of colorectal cancer in November at the age of 61.
Before Tuesday’s election, only 22 states have ever elected a Black woman to Congress, according to an analysis of U.S. House and Senate historical records done by the Pew Research Center.
A special election will be held to fill McClellan’s seat in the state seat, The Associated Press reports.
For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine’s News newsletter.