SURRY, Va. — With a little over three weeks to go until the crucial midterm elections, all four House of Representatives seats in the Hampton Roads area are being contested.
That includes the 4th District, where the boundaries have been radically redrawn. The district no longer includes Chesapeake and Suffolk, and only goes as far east as western Southampton, Sussex and Surry counties.
Rep. Don McEachin (D-Virginia, 4th District) was first elected to Congress in 2016.
McEachin said he is most proud of passing environmental justice, broadband expansion and replacement of lead pipes legislation, plus the renaming of nine Army bases previously named after Confederate figures from the Civil War.
Mostly, McEachin said he is proud to serve people.
"I would offer my candidacy again because we believe that our function is to make government work, put aside partisan differences, put aside legislative approaches, and at the end of the day, we want to make sure you get the services you're entitled to out of our federal government," he said. "We'll always be transparent with you. We'll always be honest with you. We'll always give you our best effort."
This year is, in fact, a rematch from 2020, when McEachin, a lawyer, handily defeated Republican Leon Benjamin, a pastor, 61% to 38%.
Despite his previous loss, Benjamin likes his chances this time.
"Yes, we don't have Chesapeake anymore, we don't have Suffolk," he said. "But we have Brunswick County, which was originally in the 5th. And I'm telling you, some great people out there in Brunswick and out there in Surry and Sussex. It's a fresh feeling to know that people, regardless of party, they want change."
Benjamin continued: "I think Leon Benjamin is the right choice for those that are in the 4th Congressional District. And we know that everything that's out there is showing that it's time for a change."
There hasn't been independent polling conducted in this race, but "Sabato's Crystal Ball" has rated the 4th District as "likely" for the Democratic incumbent, McEachin.