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Jennifer McClellan Projected To Change into Virginia’s First Black Congresswoman

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Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D) was projected to defeat her Republican opponent on Tuesday to turn into the primary Black girl to characterize the state in Congress, in line with The Related Press and early vote counts.

McClellan, 50, led Republican Leon Benjamin by about 40 proportion factors on Tuesday throughout a particular election to fill a seat vacated by the loss of life of Rep. Donald McEachin (D). McEachin died of most cancers in November, shortly after he was elected to a fourth time period in workplace.

Her victory, whereas anticipated in a blue-leaning district that features Richmond, is a milestone in Virginia politics. McClellan painted her bid as an honor heavy with accountability to be the state’s first Black girl to go to Congress, pointing to her household’s experiences within the Jim Crow period. She instructed The Related Press that her father and grandfather had been required to pay ballot taxes and her mom wasn’t capable of vote till the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“It’s poetic justice, fascinated about what not solely my household has been by way of, however what our nation has been by way of,” McClellan instructed The Washington Submit after her projected victory. “To be the primary Black girl from Virginia, which was the birthplace of American democracy but additionally the birthplace of American slavery.”

Her victory was hailed by the Virginia Democratic Get together.

“Jennifer McClellan’s history-making victory as the primary Black girl to be elected to Congress from Virginia can have ripple results throughout the Commonwealth,” Susan Swecker, the chairwoman of the celebration, stated in an announcement Tuesday night time. “Her management will develop upon the excellent progress and advocacy for which we keep in mind Congressman A. Donald McEachin ― I can not consider a greater technique to honor his life and legacy.”

McClellan has served as a state legislator since 2006, sponsoring many Democratic initiatives, together with payments that expanded voting entry and abortion rights. She pushed ahead a clear power initiative and has pledged to work towards comparable efforts whereas in Congress.

Solely three Black males have ever represented Virginia in Congress. McClellan will be part of 29 different Black ladies now within the House of Representatives.

“It’s an enormous honor, and accountability, to make sure that I’m not the final,” she instructed AP.

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