RICHMOND, Virginia — Republicans and gun rights activists rallied at the Virginia Capitol on Monday, known as Lobby Day. They said this year’s General Assembly will be focused on blocking gun control legislation and on picking like-minded candidates for primaries and in the November general election. At a separate rally and a press conference Monday, Democrats announced measures aimed at preventing gun violence, but with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate, both parties are likely to have little success in passing legislation.
“We’ve heard from the Virginia Senate that they’re the brick wall,” Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) told the crowd outside the Bell Tower. “We saw them kill a lot of legislative priorities last year from Republicans. But what you’re going to see this year: the Democrats have dropped a lot of anti-Second Amendment bills, and what you’re going to see is this Republican majority in the House stand up to that and kill that in our public safety committee. And so that’s a big thing. You’re not going to see repeals of all of the laws that have offended us that the Democrats passed in 2020 and 2021, because while we can get them out of our house, they will die in the Senate.”
Leon Benjamin is the Republican nominee for a special election in VA-04 after Benjamin won 57 percent of the votes in the first round of ranked choice voting in a Saturday canvass, Fourth District Republican Chairman Carey Allen told The Virginia Star.
“Thank you, VA-4, for your nomination to represent you in Washington! Together we will WIN this Special Election and ensure your voice is HEARD through the Halls of Congress. God bless you all,” Benjamin said in a social media statement.
Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) has withdrawn from the race for the nomination for the open VA-04 congressional seat and endorsed Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), a move that comes as top Virginia Democrats try to block controversial Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) from taking the nomination for the safe-Democratic seat. After Morrissey announced for the race, endorsements from top Democrats like Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) started to come in, with more coming in after Bagby’s Thursday withdrawal.
RICHMOND, Virginia – State Senators Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) announced their campaigns for the seven-day primary for the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District.
McClellan pitched herself as a natural successor to late Representative Don McEachin on Tuesday, and shortly afterward, Morrissey emphasized his legislative record and opposition to Democratic elites.
Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) had already announced his campaign on Monday.
Governor Glenn Youngkin ordered a February 21, 2023 special election to fill late Congressman Don McEachin’s seat, setting off a tight timeline for nominations in the safe-D seat. Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), Senator Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), and Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico) are the top candidates for the race.
McClellan and Bagby have already filed to run for the race, but only Bagby has officially announced his candidacy. On Monday afternoon, Morrissey seemed to confirmed speculation that he would enter the race, announcing a “major announcement” to be made at a Tuesday press conference. At the same time, fierce Morrissey ally John Fredericks, publisher of The Virginia Star, tweeted “Breaking…!VA-04 Shakeup! In upcoming Special,centrist VA Sen Joe Morrissey (D) expected to get in the race tomorrow-11:30 am presser at Petersburg City Hall. His entry completely changes dynamics in big name crowded field. If he gets in, he wins!”
State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) defeated Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) 51.99 percent to 47.86 percent in preliminary results. Also, Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) won her race against Prince William County Supervisor Yesli Vega 51.93 percent to 48.07 percent, and Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10) defeated Hung Cao 52.95 percent to 47.05 percent in preliminary results, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.