Dispute averted over special election to fill Kiggans’ Va. seat

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.

Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to WTOP.com in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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