Mark Keam, Virginia delegate, resigns, setting up special election

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RICHMOND, Va. — A long-serving Democratic member of the House of Delegates from northern Virginia has resigned his seat, a move that will set up a special election to fill the vacancy in the blue-leaning district.

Del. Mark Keam told GOP House Speaker Todd Gilbert he was stepping down to take a job in the Biden administration, according to Garren Shipley, a spokesperson for Gilbert. The resignation is effective Tuesday, Shipley said.

Keam, an attorney who was first elected to his Fairfax County-based district in 2009, didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment from The Associated Press.

Shipley said discussions were still underway about the timing of a special election, which will not impact the GOP’s control of the chamber.

Bryan Graham, chair of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, said in a statement that the group was formalizing its plans to operate an “open and fair process” to choose its nominee.

One contender, Fairfax County School Board member Karl Frisch, announced his candidacy Tuesday.

Graham’s statement thanked Keam for his service and noted that he made history as the first Asian-born immigrant and the first Korean American elected to any state office in Virginia.

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