Special election is first since Northam blackface scandal

election photo

Polls are open Tuesday for a special election from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to fill a vacancy in the 86th District of the House of Delegates. The district covers parts of the Herndon and Chantilly areas.

Democrat Ibraheem Samirah, a 27-year-old dentist, had been favored to win handily before the furor over Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) blackface photos and the associated scandals that rocked the state earlier this month. Whether that gives a meaningful boost to his Republican opponent, Gregg Nelson, 63, remains to be seen.

The seat opened up last month when Democratic Del. Jennifer Boysko was elected to the state Senate, succeeding Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), who was elected to Congress.

The district has been heavily Democratic in recent years and the Richmond imbroglios are not expected to make a huge difference but turn-out is traditionally very light in special elections, leaving an opportunity for surprises.

For more information or questions about polling locations, contact the Office of Elections at 703-222-0776, TTY 711.

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Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.