Senate Democrats expect to elect Sen. Don McEachin of Richmond to be the new chairman of their caucus.

Several senators tell us they will support McEachin, a lawyer who may be interested in running for Congress or possibly statewide in 2013. No one else is running against him.

McEachin would replace Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple of Arlington, who did not run for re-election this month. He declined to comment.

McEachin ran for attorney general in 2001 but lost to Republican Jerry Kilgore. He's has been a frequent and vocal critic of Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R).

The caucus chairman helps recruit and elect candidates as well as shepard bills through the Senate.

Senate Democrats will meet for the first time Friday since they lost two members in last week’s elections and are tied in the chamber, 20-20, with Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw is expected to be re-elected as the Democratic leader.