ROANOKE, Va. -

It was a who's who of Roanoke-area Democrats.

After a fight to determine who would face the Republicans, the Democrats wanted to make sure their party was united in their next battle.

"I had hoped that it turnout differently, but it didn't - Sam won and of course, I'm going to support him and help him get all the way to Richmond," says Rasoul democratic challenger and city council member David Trinkle.

The message, the importance of keeping a Democrat representing the 11th district.

"It's the only democratic seat in Southwest and Southside Virginia. I was able to carve out a seat that is basically a Roanoke city seat. So, it's important that both parties be represented in Southwest Virginia and in the Roanoke Valley," said outgoing Delegate Onzlee Ware.

Even though he's never held a political office, Sam Rasoul says he's ready for the challenge.

"I've been a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, a small business owner, member of the community for a long time, and I've been involved in a variety of organizations. I'm ready to serve. I was raised by Roanoke to serve Roanoke," says Rasoul.

Republican Octavia Johnson currently serves as Roanoke City Sheriff.
Johnson says it's her experience as a constitutional officer that would help represent the 11th district in Richmond.

"I have served the city of Roanoke as sheriff of Roanoke City and I have served them with professionalism, integrity and determination and I will take those same qualities to Richmond. Onzlee has been a great delegate for the City of Roanoke and I will follow in his footsteps," says Johnson.

The special election is set for Tuesday, January 7th.

The winner will go to Richmond for the first day of the General Assembly session, the next day.