Less than 24 hours after winning office, one of Virginia’s two newcomers to the House of Delegates was in Richmond to start the session with her new colleagues.
Democrat Holly Seibold sailed to victory over Republican Monique Baroudi Jan. 10 in the special election to fill the vacant 35th District seat in the House of Delegates.
Seibold won about two-thirds of the vote in the 35th District, which runs from the Vienna area southwest to Fair Lakes. The seat had been vacant since Del. Mark Keam (D), who had held the post since 2010, resigned in September to take a job in the Biden administration.
Seibold starts at the bottom of the seniority ladder along with new Del. Ellen Campbell, a Republican who on the same day (Jan. 10) won a special election to succeed her late husband in the district that is centered on Rockbridge County.
(The most senior delegate is Ken Plum, a Democrat from Reston, who has served continuously since 1982 and previously served from 1978-79.)
Both special elections went as expected, and did not change the balance of power in the House of Delegates, where Republicans hold a 52-48 majority.
The elections likely were the last held under the 2011 legislative map; all 100 House of Delegates and 40 state Senate seats have been reconfigured and will be held under the new districts this year.
Seibold is a Vienna resident who serves as founder and executive director of BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters). Answering a questionnaire from the Sun Gazette before the election, the new delegate said she would like to protect women’s reproductive rights, maintain Democrats’ recent gun-control victories, ensure that children receive high-quality education and address climate change by strengthening the state’s carbon-emissions standards.
Baroudi, who lives in Oakton, had campaigned to improve schools, tackle crime and promote “common-sense” energy legislation that did not overly rely on “green” energy sources.
Seibold was assigned to two committees by Republican House Speaker Todd Gilbert: Public Safety plus Communications, Technology & Innovation. Whether she is able to move forward any bills this year is an open question; all legislation submitted by General Assembly members has to be acted upon in their own house by Feb. 7, which is the date of “crossover” where all House of Delegates bills that are still alive move over to the state Senate and vice versa.
Scott McCaffrey contributed to this report.