Jed Arnold, a former legislative aide to Del. Jeff Campbell, R-Smyth County, on Tuesday succeeded his former boss by winning a special election in which he was running unopposed.
According to unofficial results published by the Virginia Department of Elections, Arnold won with 87% of the vote in the current House District 6, which consists of Carroll County, Wythe County and part of Smyth County and leans Republican. Write-ins made up about 13% of the votes by 8:25 p.m.
In total, Arnold received 1,513 votes, as opposed to the write-ins, who got 339 votes. He was most successful in Carroll County where he received 91% of votes, followed by Smyth County (83%) and Wythe County (74%).
In a statement, Arnold thanked voters: “My family and I are grateful for all of the friends — new and old — who have expressed their excitement for our campaign and victory. It is a privilege to serve out the remainder of Jeff’s term, and I look forward to continuing his strong legacy of conservative leadership in Richmond.”
Despite efforts by local Democrats to recruit a candidate after Gov. Glenn Youngkin set the special election on Aug. 4, the filing deadline only five days later did not allow Democrats enough time. Arnold is also running unopposed in the Nov. 7 legislative election, a circumstance that will place him more than a third of the way up in the seniority list come January.
Unless a write-in candidate is able to mount a successful last-minute challenge against Arnold, he will represent the newly created 46th House District in his first full legislative term next year. The district includes Grayson County, Smyth County, Wythe County and part of Pulaski County.
Campbell’s seat became vacant because he resigned earlier this summer to take a judgeship. Within a day after setting the special election, Youngkin endorsed Arnold for the nomination in the district, as did Attorney General Jason Miyares, House Speaker Todd Gilbert, House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore and Deputy House Majority Leader Israel O’Quinn, and House Caucus Chair Amanda Batten.