Candi King Faces Heather Mitchell in Special Election for Virginia House 2nd District Today


Election day for the Virginia House of Delegates 2nd District race has finally arrived and the winner will fill the vacant seat left by Jennifer Carroll Foy before the General Assembly begins its next session on January 13th.

Community activist Candi King (D) and military wife Heather Mitchell (R) are vying for a seat that could play a role in keeping a Democratic majority in the House or assist Republicans in their efforts to flip the legislative body in 2021.

“I’m pretty confident,” Mitchell said in an interview with The Virginia Star on the eve of election day. “We have done what a lot of campaigns can’t do in a year in three weeks. The outpouring of support from the district, and even outside the district, has just been amazing.”

Mitchell has spent much of her time since securing the GOP nomination in December knocking on doors in the 2nd District and making calls to voters, to which she said the response has been great.

This past weekend, Mitchell was joined by U.S. Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA-01), lieutenant governor candidate and Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) as well as attorney general candidate and Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) to help recruit local voters.

With campaign efforts almost over, Mitchell has received the endorsements of Wittman, Sen. Richard Stuart (R-King George), Del. Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) and both sheriffs from Stafford and Prince William counties, among others.

The Star reached out to King’s campaign to speak with the candidate for this story, but King was not available for comment.

In an emailed press release on Monday, King – who handily won the Democratic nomination in a firehouse primary – said that she was grateful for the support her campaign has received over the last several weeks and looked forward to advocating for the community in Richmond.

“Our message is really resonating as we’re engaging with voters, and they’re excited to support our campaign once they hear there is an election,” King said in the release. “It is not easy to campaign in a pandemic over the holidays, but the energy this weekend was palpable.”

As part of King’s final campaign push before election day, she was joined by a number of Democratic politicians this weekend to help handout literature to voters. Gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe, Jennifer Carroll Foy and Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond City) were in attendance as well as local Del. Joshua Cole (D-Stafford County).

So far King has garnered endorsements from U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and as well as other legislators.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), as of December 24th, Mitchell has raised just over $27,000, compared to nearly $103,000 raised by King.

The release from King’s campaign said that they have raised over $125,000 to date. When asked about fundraising, Mitchell did not have an updated number on hand, but said she was just focused on getting voters to the polls on Tuesday.

Encompassing the eastern edge of Prince William County along the Potomac River and the northern section of Stafford County, the 2nd District is home to just under 80,000 people and the vast majority of residents are white, according to Ballotpedia.

Since 2011, Republican candidates have won the district twice and the Democratic candidates have won three times. In most of those races, the precincts in Prince William, which make up almost 60 percent of the district, tended to vote blue while the precincts in Stafford generally went red, with some slight variations depending on the year, according to VPAP.

Overall, the Northern Virginia district leans more Democratic than Republican.

Considering the voting history and current makeup of the district, King should have an edge in the election, but local voters may have more familiarity with Mitchell, who ran for the same seat in 2019 against Carroll Foy but ended up losing, which could help the Republican candidate.

Polling places in Stafford and Prince William counties will close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]





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