Posted by Brandon Jarvis

A special election has been set to fill the vacant seat in Virginia’s state Senate district 38. Senator Ben Chafin (R-Russell), who represented the far-Southwest Virginia district since 2014, passed away on January 1 from COVID-19 complications.

Governor Ralph Northam announced on Tuesday that the election will be taking place on March 23, after the legislative session that begins on Wednesday.

This is a reliably Republican district and several candidates are expected to vie for the GOP nomination. So far, three Republicans, Elijah Leonard, Travis Hackworth, and Jony Baker have declared their candidacy. Virginia Scope has confirmed that a firehouse-primary will be taking place on January 21 to determine the GOP nominee.

No Democrats have filed to run so far, but candidates have until January 22 to file their paperwork to appear on the ballot.

Virginia Scope is an independent news publication that is funded largely by donations and subscribers. As local newsrooms are losing writers each day, we are trying to fill the void to ensure that the public is informed and that leaders are held accountable for their actions. If you can chip in a monthly subscription of whatever you can afford, even $1, it will go a long way to helping us. Subscribe here. You can also make a one-time donation below:

By vascope