Virginia’s Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and a leader of the Democratic-controlled state Senate announced an agreement Tuesday to hold a special election in January to fill the seat of GOP state Sen. Jen Kiggans, who was elected to Congress this month.
The agreement averts a possible legal fight over who could set the election for the Virginia Beach-based 7th District, the outcome of which won’t affect party control of the narrowly divided chamber.
The question of authority arose after the GOP-controlled House insisted in September that it was no longer in session but the Democratic-controlled Senate said it was.
State law says that if a legislative vacancy occurs while the part-time General Assembly is recessed, the governor calls the special election to fill it. If the General Assembly is in session, legislative leaders — the president pro tempore in the case of a Senate vacancy — “may immediately issue the writ to call the election,” the law says.
The special election will be held Jan. 10.