Lamont Bagby and Stephen Imholt Face Off Today to Replace Jennifer McClellan in Virginia Senate

FILE - Virginia Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Richmond, speaks during the House session at the Capitol, Feb. 1, 2022, in Richmond, Va. Bagby has defeated two opponents in a firehouse primary to advance to a March special general election for the blue-leaning, Richmond-based 9th Senate District of Virginia. He will face GOP nominee Stephen Imholt. The 9th District seat in the 40-member, Democrat-controlled state Senate is open due to Democratic Sen. Jennifer McClellan’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives last week. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, file)

By Carolyn Fiddler
March 28, 2023

On Tuesday, March 28, voters in Virginia’s 9th Senate District are going to the polls to select a new state senator to replace now-US Rep. Jennifer McClellan ahead of the General Assembly veto session.

On Tuesday, voters will cast their ballots to elect a new member of the Virginia legislature to replace former state senator and newly elected US Rep. Jennifer McClellan.

Democratic Del. Lamont Bagby, who has served in the state House since 2015, faces Republican Stephen Imholt in the race to replace McClellan. The winner of this contest will have to run again in November’s general election, though the decennial redistricting process will change the district number and makeup; Bagby has already filed to run for Senate District 14, which includes most of current Senate District 9.

The winner of Tuesday’s contest will participate in the upcoming General Assembly veto session on April 12, where Democrats are keen to keep the 22-18 advantage they enjoyed over Republicans in the state Senate before McClellan’s resignation at the end of February.

Senate District 9 is heavily Democratic, and the special election is expected to be a low-turnout affair. The candidates’ respective fundraising reflects the heavy partisan lean of the district; Bagby has raised over $200,000 for the race, while Imholt has reportedly brought in less than $1,000, and his most recent campaign finance filing listed no campaign expenses.

Polls close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28. 

  • Carolyn Fiddler

    Carolyn Fiddler is Dogwood's chief political correspondent. She is also the nation’s foremost expert in state politics with almost two decades of experience in statehouse machinations, and her comic book collection is probably bigger than yours.

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