Sen. Jennifer McClellan Wins Democratic Primary, Set To Become Virginia's First Black Congresswoman

Sen. Jennifer McClellan Wins Democratic Primary, Set To Become Virginia’s First Black Congresswoman

Jennifer McClellan Virginia
(Image: WAVY TV 10 / YouTube)

Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D) won her primary on Dec. 22 and could become the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from the state, according to NBC News. McClellan won the Democratic primary to fill the seat of Rep. Donald McEachin (D), who died from cancer in November.

McClellan won 85 percent of the vote in a primary race against state Sen. Joe Morrissey, Joseph Preston and Tavorise Marks.

McClellan was supposed to run in the primary against the chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, Del. Lamont Bagby. However, Bagby dropped out of the primary and endorsed McClellan, reportedly in an attempt to block Morrissey from winning the primary. Morrissy was pardoned by former Gov. Ralph Northam in January for contributing to the delinquency of a minor after he admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old girl who worked at his law office.

McClellan told The 19th News that she would be bringing a new perspective to Congress as a Black woman should she be elected.

“I learned very quickly that everyone’s political views and how they vote and how they approach issues is shaped by their life experiences and what they know,” she said.

“As a Black woman, I bring a whole new perspective that has not had a voice in the Virginia delegation.”

The 49-year-old senator served in the House of Delegates for 11 years and has been a Virginia state senator for five years. McClellan thanked the people who voted in the Democratic firehouse primary with a message on Twitter on Thursday.

“Thank you to the 27,900 voters who showed up to be heard at this historic Firehouse Primary. Onward to Election Day, #VA04!”

McClellan will face Republican Leon Benjamin in the special election for the 4th District seat on Feb. 21.