Candi King came out on top of a quick-turnaround, five-candidate primary Sunday to win the Democratic nomination in the Jan. 5 special election for the 2nd District House of Delegates seat.
The eastern Prince William and Stafford County post is being vacated by Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, who is vying for the party’s nod to run for Virginia governor.
King, 38, garnered 380, or about 44% of 867 votes cast in the drive-thru caucus, which was held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Freedom High School in Woodbridge and at the Courthouse Community Center in Stafford.
Pamela Montgomery, a retired federal attorney who now works for Supervisor Margaret Franklin, D-Woodbridge, was the second-highest vote-getter with 218 or 25.1% of the ballots cast.
Keisha Francis, of Stafford County, came in third with 131 votes; while Nyesha Wilson, also of Stafford, came in fourth with 90 votes; and Rozia Henson, of Woodbridge, came in fifth with 48 votes, according to Collin Robinson, chairman of the Prince William County Democratic Committee.
King is the wife of Josh King, who ran unsuccessfully for Prince William County sheriff in 2019 and, before that, came just 12 votes shy of winning the Democratic nomination to run for the 2nd District House of Delegates seat in 2017 – a race he lost to Foy.
Candi King is a program assistant with the Washington office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the mother of three children, ages 8, 10 and 17. When entering the race earlier this week, she said she has been interested in running for elected office since she helped pass a statewide higher education bond referendum in the early 2000s, when she was a college student.
King earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Norfolk State University and interned for then-delegate, now state Sen. Lionel Spruill, D-5th, of Chesapeake, and the late state senator Yvonne Miller, who died in 2012.
King will face Republican Heather Mitchell in the Jan. 5 special election.
If elected, King said she’d focus on helping Virginia recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Woodbridge particularly hard. King is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia, and has lived with her family in the Swans Creek subdivision of Woodbridge for 11 years.
King said first responders, health care workers, parents and public school students have felt the brunt of the pandemic so far, as have small business owners.
“I think COVID has made it clear that we need to look at paid sick leave,” King said, adding that unemployment and rising homelessness are also concerns she believes Virginia lawmakers will need to contend with, possibly without the help of more federal aid.
“I think that I’m the best possible candidate to really the hit the ground running,” King said.
Whoever wins the Jan. 5 special election will be sworn into office before the General Assembly's 2021 session begins on Jan. 13.
This is a breaking news story. It will be updated.