Speculation swirls on who Richmond's next Congress member will be
No one's talking openly yet about who will run to fill the late Rep. Don McEachin's seat representing Richmond in Congress.
Yes, but: That's not stopping wild speculation behind the scenes.
What we're hearing: We talked to every Richmond politician who would answer the phone Wednesday, and so far, Del. Lamont Bagby, a Democrat from Henrico, appears to have emerged as one of the most likely contenders for the seat.
- Bagby is the chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and a mentee of McEachin.
- He declined to say Wednesday whether he's considering a run, but told WRIC earlier this week that "there is no secret I've always wanted to follow in my big brother's footsteps."
It remains unclear whether Bagby would face a competitor in a Democratic nominating contest.
- So far, other potential candidates include Richmond state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and former Petersburg Del. Lashrecse Aird.
- There's also the possibility that McEachin's widow, Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Colette McEachin, could herself be interested in running for her husband’s seat.
What they’re saying: A spokesperson for McClellan referred Axios to her statements earlier this week, when she said it was too soon to discuss.
- Likewise, Aird said in a text message that she’ll “address any potential candidacy in due course.”
- Colette McEachin didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
We can cross off a few potential candidates: Richmond state Sen. Joe Morrissey says he's happy in his current seat.
- And Richmond Del. Jeff Bourne told Axios that he's humbled by suggestions he might run but "will not be a candidate."
Of note: The district is heavily Democratic, meaning whoever wins the party's nomination is most likely heading to Congress next year.
What's next: It's up to Gov. Youngkin to call a special election, and so far he hasn't given any clues about the likely timing.
Meanwhile, a memorial has been scheduled for McEachin next Wednesday at St. Paul's Baptist Church at 11am.
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