The race is on in Alexandria to replace state Del. David Englin, a Democrat who resigned his General Assembly seat following revelations that he had an extramarital affair.

The special election in state House District 45 is set for Sept. 4, though absentee voting has already begun. Republican Tim McGhee, Democrat Rob Krupicka and Libertarian Justin Malkin will be on the ballot.

McGhee, citing the pending impact of federal health care reforms on the state, said he wants to ensure patient care is protected and families receive the benefits they need.

"Most of the health care law kicks in in 2014," said McGhee, a technology consultant, "so this is the prime time to be in the General Assembly to prepare."

He said he also wants to find a way to increase funding for transportation, a perennial problem in Northern Virginia.

Krupicka, a member of the Alexandria City Council and state Board of Education, said he wants to step up to state office so he can address education and transportation issues. He said the state needs to expand access to preschools and address overcrowding at Northern Virginia schools.

He also is pushing for greater funding for transportation.

Malkin, a credit analyst for an asset management company, said he believes that as a Libertarian who is "socially current and fiscally responsible," he can bridge the partisan gap within the state legislature.

Malkin isn't running on a particular agenda, however, saying that as a first-year lawmaker he'll focus on issues brought to him by constituents.

Polls in the 45th District, which includes the eastern half of Alexandria, parts of southeast Arlington County and parts of the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County, will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Absentee voting for the special election has already begun. All mailed ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said he scheduled the special election before the Nov. 6 presidential election to give Alexandria's newest lawmakers "time to fully prepare for the 2013 legislative session" that starts in January.