In a vote a little earlier than expected, Congressional Redistricting, Del. Rob Bell’s HB 251 has passed the state Senate 20-19 today and heads over to the governor for signature.
Senator John Edwards (D) is on a leave of absence and did not vote, so no tie-breaking vote was required from Lieutenant Governor Bolling. Sadly, Democrats decided to be completely partisan on this bipartisan bill and vote along party lines.
First to react to the news is U.S. House Majority Leader and 7th District Congressman Eric Cantor:
“I commend the General Assembly for its diligent work in drawing congressional districts that are fair and true to the one-man, one-vote principle. This legislation was the only plan presented which enjoyed both bipartisan and biracial support. It is a unity plan that represents compromise by both parties, and enjoys broad community support as well. I am pleased that the General Assembly was able to move quickly on this important issue to ensure that all Virginians are represented equally and that this year’s elections will be able to take place as currently scheduled.”
“I look forward to getting to know and representing the citizens of New Kent, and the additional portions of Spotsylvania that will now be a part of the 7th District.”
After being signed into law by the governor, the districts will have to be reviewed by the Department of Justice under the Voting Rights Act.
Not surprisingly, Democrats, as they are want to do, have filed suit.
You can view the new maps here.
In related news, the Supreme Court today struck down congressional district lines drawn by a Texas federal court saying that it failed to meet the intent of the state legislature.