Both Democrats and Republicans will hold firehouse primaries Saturday to choose their candidates for a special election next month to replace Del. Ben Cline.

Democrat Nicholas Betts, a third-year student at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, joined the hunt on Monday. Christian Worth, a political activist and gallery assistant at Cabell Gallery in Lexington, announced over the weekend she was running as a Democrat.

The deadline for those interested in seeking the Democratic nomination in the 24th House District is Wednesday.

A special election is scheduled for Dec. 18 to fill the seat of Cline, who is leaving the Virginia House of Delegates and headed to Congress. Cline defeated Democrat Jennifer Lewis last week to take the place of retiring Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County, in the 6th Congressional District.

The 24th House of Delegates District represents the cities of Buena Vista and Lexington as well as Bath and Rockbridge counties and parts of Amherst and Augusta counties.

The deadline for Republicans to file passed over the weekend. Four people are competing Saturday for the Republican nomination: Ronnie Campbell and Jay Lewis, both members of the Rockbridge County Board of Supervisors; Catie Austin-Brown, a small-business owner from Rockbridge County; and Amherst County Supervisor Jimmy Ayers. A fifth person who had announced interest in the nomination did not file by the deadline.

Republicans will hold their firehouse primary beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Saturday at these locations: Riverheads High School, 19 Howardsville Road, Staunton; Craigsville Town Hall, 18 Hidy Street, Craigsville; Hot Springs Firehouse; 27670 Main St., Hot Springs; Amherst County Administration Building, 153 Washington St., Amherst; Monelison Volunteer Fire Department, Main Station, 133 American Circle, Madison Heights; Monelison Volunteer Fire Department, Elon Station, 2537 Elon Road, Monroe; American Legion Building, 1953 Magnolia Avenue, Buena Vista; Rockbridge County Administration Building; 150 S. Main St., Lexington. Further details may be found online at

Democrats will hold their caucuses from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at these polling locations: the LexRockDem Headquarters, 11 S. Jefferson St., Lexington; the Amherst County Public Library — Madison Heights Branch, 200 River James Shopping Center, Madison Heights; and the Warm Springs Inn & Tavern, 12968 Sam Snead Highway, Warm Springs. Further details may be found here:

The voter registration deadline for the special election is Dec. 12.

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Amy Friedenberger is the politics reporter for The Roanoke Times. She's been a reporter here since 2014. Previously, she worked for newspapers in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter at @ajfriedenberger.

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