Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Two Virginia House seats to remain open ahead of general elections

bagby in a 2022 photo from the house of delegates
Crixell Matthews
VPM News File
Then-Del. Lamont Bagby speaks with Del. Kathleen Murphy during 2022. The House of Delegates seat Bagby — who likely is headed to the state Senate — held will remain open until 2024, due to time constraints of holding a special election ahead of June primaries.

Early voting for June primaries begins next month.

After nearly five months of special elections to fill cascading vacancies in the U.S. Congress and General Assembly, Virginia politicians will not fill the last two seats ahead of the summer’s primaries in newly redrawn districts.

As a result, the 74th and 79th House seats — which were previously represented by Democrats — will remain open until January 2024.

“Youngkin’s office confirmed that he will not order special elections to fill Bagby’s seat in the 74th House District or that of Del. Nadarius Clark, D-Portsmouth,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Clark has resigned his seat in the 79th House District in order to qualify to run in the Democratic primary for a newly drawn district in June.”

Bagby — who unofficially won his March 28 special election for the 9th Senate District — has not had his victory certified by the Virginia Board of Elections as of Tuesday.

All 140 seats in the state’s Legislature will be on the ballot this November. Complicating matters are new district borders, which will potentially shift incumbents into primary contests against members of their own parties. As a result, several sitting legislators announced their retirements in February and March.

According to Virginia law, special elections cannot be held “within the 55 days prior to a general or primary election.” And early voting for general election primaries begins May 5 — less than a month away. Primaries are June 20.

The open seats left by Bagby and Clark won’t impact the upcoming veto session; Republicans already hold a five-seat majority in the House of Delegates.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified Del. Kathleen Murphy in a photo.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.