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American Politician and Attorney McClellan Makes History as Virginia’s First Black Woman Elected to U.S. Congress

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“I have spent my entire career dismantling the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, and I’ve walked past the statute of Harry Byrd every day into the state capitol knowing I am his worst nightmare: A Black woman working to eradicate the inequity that he put in place.”- McClellan.

Aside from being an American politician and attorney, Senator Jennifer McClellan has dedicated her life to serving the people of Virginia and ensuring that all Virginians have their voices heard in government.

Democrat Jennifer McClellan is an achiever, but her recent feat is a historic one worth lasting for a lifetime, especially for young Black women.

She had defeated her Republican opponent, Leon Benjamin Sr., in a special general election to conquest a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives as the first Black woman to represent Virginia in Congress. McClellan got 71,760 votes (72.2%), leaving Benjamin Sr. with 27 699 votes (27.8%). 

The seat was open after the death of Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin in November. McEachin died weeks after being elected to a fourth term after a long fight with the secondary efforts of colorectal cancer.

During her campaign, she kept stating thus; “Throughout Virginia’s over 400-year history, there remains an unshattered glass ceiling — we have never elected a Black woman to Congress. If I win my special election, we will shatter that glass ceiling together.”

All her speeches demonstrated loyalty, strength, patriotism and love for her people and country.

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