RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The former law partner of a Virginia legislator who recently retired to become a judge handily won a special election Tuesday to fill the vacant southwest Virginia seat in the House of Delegates, according to state results.
Republican Jonathan E. “Jed” Arnold got about 81% of the just over 2,000 votes cast in the conservative 6th House of Delegates District, according to the Department of Elections. Democrats did not have a candidate on the ballot.
Arnold will follow former Del. Jeff Campbell in representing the district comprising Carroll and Wythe counties and part of Smyth County. Arnold practiced law with Campbell and was his legislative aide. He’s expected to be sworn in next week when the part-time General Assembly convenes in Richmond to consider long-delayed budget legislation.
“My family and I are deeply humbled by the outpouring of support from voters throughout the 6th District. I am thankful for the tremendous support, and I am ready to get to work!” Arnold said in a written statement provided by a spokesperson.
Campbell resigned July 14, effective immediately, after being appointed the same day to fill a judicial vacancy. Gov. Glenn Youngkin then called the special election.
Arnold won’t have long to serve in the 6th District. Because of redistricting, all legislative candidates are running this year under new maps, so the current 6th District will effectively expire. Arnold is also a candidate in the newly created 46th District, also a Republican stronghold in the same general area. He’s also unopposed in that race.
The new maps generated by the redistricting process have triggered a flurry of legislator retirement announcements. While there are other current legislative vacancies that are expected to go unfilled until the November general election, a new law that took effect July 1 set a deadline by which Youngkin was required to set the special election for Campbell’s seat.
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