Del. Lamont Bagby, D-Henrico, claimed victory on Tuesday in the 9th Senate District special election to fill newly elected Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan’s former seat in the Virginia General Assembly.
Bagby was widely favored to win the historically democratic district, beating Republican candidate Stephen Imholt in a landslide victory with over 89% of the votes.
Bagby’s campaign focused on five core issues that he intends to address: supporting public education, fighting for women’s reproductive rights, gun violence, aiding working families and furthering Virginia’s progress.
“To all those who joined us, and to those who didn’t, know that this seat belongs to you and my door will always be open,” Bagby wrote in a press release after his win. “Together, we are going to do great things for Virginia families.”
Born and raised in Essex Village, Bagby attended school in Henrico County before enrolling at Norfolk State University, and later Virginia Commonwealth University for graduate school. He also served on the Henrico County School Board before joining the House of Delegates in 2015, and was elected as the chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus in 2017.
Bagby was endorsed by Sen. McClellan, who vacated her seat after she was elected to represent Virginia’s 4th Congressional District in the United States Congress.
“Congratulations to @delegatebagby in his overwhelming victory tonight in the 9th District,” McClellan tweeted. “I know that Senator-Elect Bagby will bring the same commitment to service and the community to the Senate as he has to the House and @VaBlackCaucus.”
The Virginia Public Access Project reported that Bagby’s campaign raised approximately $212,000 between Feb. 2 and March 16, including a $15,000 donation from Dominion Energy. Imholt raised $580, according to VPAP.
Imholt has lived in Richmond since 2008 and is a retired information technology senior projects manager, according to his campaign website. He has previously served as a budget committee chair for an Illinois school board.
Imholt ran as an independent against McClellan in 2015 for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates and lost by a little over 8,000 votes according to Ballotpedia.
Beyond education, Imholt vowed to find attainable solutions to improve virginians’ lives. He also ran in order to give people a second option, recognizing his position as the underdog in the democratic-leaning district.
“The voters should always have a choice, and for that I have no regrets,” Imholt said in an interview with The Washington Post after his defeat.
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The General Assembly resumes on April 12 for “veto day,” which will see representatives tackle vetoes and amendments proposed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Bagby will vacate his current seat in the House of Delegates and serve the remainder of McClellan’s original term, which ends this coming fall under the new state districts.
Contact writer Caitlin McCormack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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