Speaker sets special election for Roanoke-area House seat

The special election to fill a Virginia House of Delegates seat vacated by the resignation of Del. Greg Habeeb, a Republican from Salem, will be Nov. 6, the same day as the general election for U.S. House of Representatives, Senate and local races.

The Republican Speaker of the House, Del. Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights, announced the date Wednesday morning.

“Setting the special election to coincide with the upcoming general election makes the most sense,” Cox wrote in a statement. “I want to thank Delegates Toscano and Herring for suggesting and working with us on selecting the date for this special election.”

Democrats encouraged Cox to set the special election with the general election. House Democratic Minority Leader David Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring said in a statement last week that holding it another time would be “fiscally irresponsible.”

Habeeb announced his resignation last week. He said he wanted to spend more time focused on his work. He recently became a partner at Gentry Locke, a law firm with several locations in the western part of the state.

Political parties have until Aug. 17 to nominate candidates, Cox said.

Roanoke County Supervisor Joe McNamara has already thrown his hat in the ring to replace Habeeb, according to The Roanoke-Times.