Candidates interested in running in the special election for District 38 of the Virginia State Senate had until January 22, 2021, to file. Former Radford City Councilwoman Laurie Buchwald (D) is facing Tazewell County Supervisor Travis Hackworth (R) in the general election scheduled for March 23.
The seat became vacant after the death of A. Benton Chafin (R) on January 1 from complications due to COVID-19. Chafin had represented the district since 2014.
Heading into the special election, Democrats have a 21-18 majority in the Virginia Senate. Virginia has a Democratic state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
As of January, 24 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 16 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year.