DICKENSON COUNTY, Va– A Virginia Beach attorney has filed a lawsuit against Governor Northam over the 38th Senate District special election.
The 38th District was previously occupied by Sen. Ben Chafin (R), who died on January 1st from COVID-19 complications.
Governor Northam later announced a special election would take place on March 23rd to replace Sen. Chafin’s vacant seat.
Attorney Tim Anderson was asked to file the lawsuit by a constituent in Dickenson County. Anderson claims Northam set special elections with shorter time frames for the 2nd and 90th districts of the House of Delegates last month, when those former legislators resigned.
“It seems very strange that those two districts, which are very heavily Democrat districts were set very quickly so they could have members seated in the upcoming general assembly, but when Senator Chafin died on January 1, it took the Governor 11 days to set a special election, and he set it in March, which would be after the general assembly session completes,” Anderson said.
The lawsuit asks for Northam to issue a new date for the special election as soon as possible.
“The Governor thinks its OK for people in the Southwest to not have that voice until close to the end of March, we’re saying that’s outrageous,” said Anderson. “We’re saying its politics, it’s bad politics. It’s just a Democrat Governor saying a Conservative part of the state should not have a voice when the Democrats get their voice within 21 days.”
Anderson said Northam is being represented by the Office of the Attorney General. They have asked for more time to respond. The next court date is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26th.
“We’re not asking for anything other than to be treated exactly the same,” Anderson said. “We don’t want any special treatment from the Governor, we just want the same treatment from the Governor.”
The Governor’s office did not respond immediately to News 5 for comment.
So far 6 Republican candidates have entered the race for the special election.
The deadline for candidates to file is Jan. 22, but the district Republican committee plans to hold its primary election Jan. 21 to certify its candidate.
The 38th district covers Dickenson, Buchanan, Wise, Russell, Tazewell, Smyth, Bland, Montgomery, and the cities of Norton and Radford.