She’ll face Heather Mitchell in the Jan. 5 special election.

WOODBRIDGE-The field is set for Virginia House District 2’s special election next month. Candi King won a five-person firehouse primary Sunday to be the Democratic nominee. She’ll compete against Republican Heather Mitchell to replace Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who stepped down last week to focus on her campaign to be governor. 

The 38-year-old King picked up 43.76% of the vote Sunday, collecting 380 of the 867 ballots cast. Voters could go to one of two places to cast a ballot. That included either Freedom High in Woodbridge or Stafford’s Courthouse Community Center. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. they came by and cast votes to pick the Democratic nominee. Mitchell was the only Republican candidate to file, so there was no need to hold a primary in that case. 

Retired federal attorney Pamela Montgomerry finished second Sunday. She picked up 25.1% or 218 votes. Keisha Francis finished third with 131 votes. Nyesha Wilson came in fourth with 90 and Rozia Henson came in fifth with 48. 

In a statement sent to media after the primary, King said she was grateful for and humbled by the confidence Democrats placed in her. She promised to work until the primary to win the overall community’s confidence as well. 

“Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy leaves big shoes to fill, but between my real-world and General Assembly experience, I am ready to hit the ground running on Day One to be an effective advocate as we forge a path of recovery from this pandemic,” King said in the statement. “Our schools, small businesses and working families are struggling. Our children deserve to be safe and educated and no family should ever have to make a choice between the two.”  

A look at the votes being counted on the Prince William County Democratic Committee’s page.

Reflecting on Her Own Situation

In the statement, King reflected on her own situation. She and her husband Josh, an Iraqi War veteran who works as a Fairfax County deputy sheriff, have three children, including one with special needs.  

“As we work to safely re-open schools, teachers deserve more than just thanks and praise,King wrote. “They are experts who need to be a part of the solution with a meaningful seat at the table. That means collective bargaining rights.” 

King also laid out more of her overall platform, saying workers in District 2 deserve good, local jobs. Those who need to commute, she added, also need affordable transportation options. 

“This pandemic has also showcased the need to explore common-sense policies like paid sick leave that make sense for workers and for their employers,King said. “This area has been hit hard by the pandemic, but I believe we can emerge better than before, with no one left behind.” 

At the same time, King recognized recovery won’t be easy. 

“I’ve never been afraid of hard work and I pledge to fight for the people of this district every day,” King said. “I live here, my children go to school here and my husband commutes to Fairfax to protect and serve as a deputy sheriff. I know this is a community worth fighting for.”  

King graduated from Norfolk State University. She works as a program assistant with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and as a volunteer at Freedom High. 

A Familiar Face

While this is King’s first election, it’s the second for her opponent. Mitchell ran against Carroll Foy in 2019. Foy got 61% of the vote to Mitchell’s 39%. 

A Stafford resident, Mitchell is married to an active duty Marine Corps officer and also has three children. When filing to run this time, she put out a statement saying she understood how people are struggling due to COVID-19. 

“I once was a single mom who held three jobs, so I understand the radical uncertainty – and difficult trade-offs – COVID-19 has brought upon families and our community,” Mitchell said. “Yet instead of committing themselves to the fight against this unprecedented global health crisis, Democrats in Richmond have turned their backs against our frontline workers, our heroes in blue, by working to defund our police.”

This will only be the first of two elections for whoever wins in January. In order to secure a full two-year term, the winner has to run for re-election next November.