Katie Farthing, Contributing Writer
Donald McEachin has won the 4th District election with 61.63% of the vote as of 10:51 p.m., according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Donald McEachin was the incumbent for this election.
After winning the 4th District, McEachin thanked both his campaign and office staff and his wife Colette Wallace McEachin, who is also Richmond’s Commonwealth’s Attorney.
“We do this because we like service,” McEachin said on election night. “Campaign staff, office staff and myself like to serve. We like to make government work. We like to try to address issues. We like to fix things. Sometimes we’re successful, sometimes we’re not, but we always give it our best.”
McEachin said he is honored to serve the 4th Congressional District and that this election is important for keeping control of the House and the Senate leading into 2024.
“It’s not control for control’s sake. It’s to make sure that we protect and enhance our democracy,” McEachin said. “So that you and yours have the right to vote. So that women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions and so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we’ve enjoyed for the past 200 years.”
McEachin was the incumbent Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives of the 4th Congressional District. He won in 2020 with 62% of the vote, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. He was first elected to the House in 2016.
He previously worked with several law firms and formed his own McEachin and Gee Law Firm. He served as a legislator in both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly, according to his website.
During his first congressional term, McEachin co-founded the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Congressional Task Force, according to his website.
McEachin plans to focus on legislation that will bring financial relief to families and businesses affected by COVID-19, his website states. His other priorities include access to healthcare, education and the criminal justice system.
The Commonwealth Times reached out to Donald McEachin for comment on the race seven times through phone calls and emails and did not receive a response.
Leon Benjamin was the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Benjamin is a U.S. Navy veteran, senior pastor of New Life Harvest Church and founder of the Coalition of Leaders United, according to his website.
McEachin refused to debate with Benjamin unless he acknowledged the presidential and local 2020 election results, according to VPM News.
Benjamin stated in an email why college-aged students should have voted for him. He stated his goals would be to lower inflation, keep neighborhoods safe and create business opportunities.
“We will be stopping the excessive spending and securing the border. By doing so, we will be giving the college kids a FUTURE that is safe and in which they can prosper!” Benjamin stated.
Benjamin advocates for law enforcement funding and domestic energy production, according to his website. His website states that he supports closing the southern border. He believes in school choice, similar to Gov. Glenn Youngkin, according to his website.
There are many issues of concern for Keelyn Grant, a junior anthropology student. Seeing these concerns represented in future legislation is important to her.
“I really hope that regressive ideas that don’t believe in climate change, that don’t believe in gay rights, that don’t believe in women’s rights, that don’t believe in civic equality, I really hope that they phase out,” Grant said.
For Kaeli Jarvis, a freshman social work student, abortion is a large issue of uncertainty.
“I am a little concerned that if a lot of senatorial candidates who agree with Youngkin and are against abortion, that could have a lot of dire effects,” Jarvis said. “That could keep his policies in place rather than changing them back, which is where I would like our country to go.”
After the last presidential election, violence and poor reactions to the results are a concern for Jessica Rojas, a senior political science student.
“We just want to see what’s going to happen, how are people reacting and how healthy is our democracy right now?” Rojas said.