Virginia will hold special elections Sept. 4 to replace former Sen. Yvonne Miller, who passed away earlier this month, and Del. Dave Englin, who resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, who announced the elections Wednesday, said holding them in September "will allow for the citizens of these districts to have full representation and give the new senator and delegate time to fully prepare for the 2013 legislative session."
Both seats were previously held by Democrats. Miller's district, however, is vital for Senate Democrats who now share power with Republicans in an evenly divided chamber. If a Republican were to pick up that seat, the GOP would have an outright majority and could pass budget bills without Democratic support.
Englin's Alexandria district is one of the most liberal in the state.
Miller, Virginia's first black female state senator, served the cities of Chesapeake, Virginia Beach and Norfolk.
McDonnell will officially call for the election on July 30 and each party will have five days after to nominate a candidate.