2 currently running for open state Senate seat

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — There are currently two announced candidates seeking former Democratic state Sen. Phil Puckett’s newly vacant seat.

Tazewell County Supervisor Mike Hymes announced Monday he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for the 38th District, which includes several counties in southwest Virginia.

Republican Del. Ben Chafin announced his candidacy last week.

Democrats will formally pick a candidate at a mass meeting on Wednesday while Republicans pick their candidate Thursday.

The special election is set for Aug. 19.

In a news release, Hymes noted that he was a third generation coal miner. Chafin is an attorney who has been endorsed by several of his Republican House colleagues.

Puckett shocked Virginia’s political world with his sudden resignation last week. It gave Republicans a 20-19 advantage in the upper chamber.

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