In a historic win, Jennifer McClellan has become the first black woman to represent the state of Virginia in Congress. McClellan, a Democrat, won the special election held on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023, to fill the vacant seat in the House of Representatives for Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.
McClellan, who has served in the Virginia state legislature for over a decade, ran on a platform of progressive policies, including expanding access to healthcare, investing in infrastructure, and supporting working families. Her victory is being celebrated as a major milestone for black women in politics, who have long been underrepresented at all levels of government.
In her victory speech, McClellan thanked her supporters and acknowledged the historic nature of her win. “I stand before you tonight as the first black woman elected to Congress from Virginia, but I know I won’t be the last,” she said. “This is a victory for all of us who believe in a more just and equitable future.”
McClellan’s win comes amid a wave of historic firsts for women and people of color in politics. In 2021, Deb Haaland became the first Native American woman to serve in a Cabinet position, and Kamala Harris again made history as the first woman to serve as Vice President.
McClellan’s victory is also a significant moment for the Democratic Party, which has been working to increase diversity among its elected officials. “Jennifer McClellan is a trailblazer and an inspiration to women and girls everywhere,” said Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison.
As McClellan prepares to take her seat in Congress, she has vowed to continue fighting for the issues that matter to her constituents. “I am deeply honored and humbled by the trust the people of Virginia have placed in me,” she said.