Politics

New Member: Democrat McEachin Picks Up Virginia's 4th District Seat

Democrats had the advantage in redrawn district

(Photo courtesy Donald McEachin)

Another Democrat will pick up a House seat, this time in Virginia’s open 4th District, The Associated Press projects.

Virginia state Sen. Donald McEachin led Republican Mike Wade by 54 percent to 46 percent with 85 percent of precincts reporting. McEachin is set to become the state’s second black congressman after Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rated the race Safe Democrat leading up to Election Day.

[Election Results 2016]

Congressional redistricting made the 4th District a safe Democratic seat. The Eastern Virginia Circuit Court found that Virginia's 3rd District had been gerrymandered for partisan gain, resulting in the city of Richmond being added to the 4th District. Its current representative, GOP Rep. J. Randy Forbes, ran for the GOP nomination in the neighboring 2nd District and lost.

[Virginia Likely Gains Second Black Congressman]

Forbes’ loss was a blow to the congressman who ran elsewhere in an effort to remain in Congress. It concluded his 26-year career in public service, The Washington Post reported.

McEachin handily won Virginia’s Democratic primary in June and was the expected winner of the general election.

Born in Germany while his father was deployed with the Army, McEachin says he was inspired to seek office after seeing the direct impacts of politics on military families.

He went into practice as a personal injury lawyer after earning a law degree from the University of Virginia. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1995 and to the Virginia Senate in 2007, where he chaired its Democratic caucus in recent years.

McEachin’s legislative record from the General Assembly is a good indication of his liberal stances. He has sponsored legislation on gun safety, environmental protection, and voter protections.

With large rural areas in his district, McEachin says that federal investment in rural broadband internet, which he considers essential to economic development, will be a top agenda item in Washington.

“This is not a Republican policy or a Democratic policy issue,” he says.

Coming from a military family, McEachin also takes an interest in defense spending and military personnel issues. He hopes to work with the Defense Department to improve military leave practices.

Contact Rahman at remarahman@cqrollcall.com or follow her on Twitter at @remawriter.

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