Virginia congressional and state legislative redistricting process begins

It’s that time again. Perhaps the most important result of the 2009 Virginia general elections has finally arrived: redistricting.

Following the 2009 campaign, Republicans have control of the governor’s mansion and House of Delegates, while Democrats have a very small advantage in the State Senate.

The results of that election should give the GOP a significant advantage in how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn following the results of the 2010 Census.

Of course, the GOP having an advantage has never stopped them from failing before.

Del. Mark Cole, chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee and the Redistricting Subcommittee says that there will be a series of six public comment periods before the next regular General Assembly session in 2011. Cole hopes that the committee can complete its work and codified prior to the November 2011 elections.

The meetings will be held:

Wednesday, September 8th -7pm, Natural Science Center, V A Western Community College (Roanoke)

Wednesday, September 22nd -7pm, Roper Performing Arts Center, Tidewater Community College (Norfolk)

Tuesday, October 5th -7pm, Mason Hall, George Mason University

Monday, October 18th -7pm, Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training, Danville Community College

Monday, December 6th -7pm, University Hall, University of Mary Washington (Stafford Campus)

Friday, December 17th -10am, 9th Floor Appropriations Room, General Assembly Building (time approximate, after Governor’s remarks to the money committees)

Subcommittee Members:

Mark Cole, Chairman
Robert B. Bell
Rosalyn R. Dance
Algie T. Howell, Jr
S. Chris Jones
Jackson Miller
of the Joint Reapportionment Committee:
David B. Albo
Johnny S. Joannou

In the committee’s first missive, as found on the redistricting website, the committee hints at what might become of the congressional districts.

The ideal district population is estimated to be 717,370, but the 2nd (Nye), 3rd (Scott), 5th (Perriello), 6th (Goodlatte), 8th (Moran), and 9th (Boucher) are under that margin, so we should expect to see them gain some voters (interesting that pop. decline is in districts represented mostly by Democrats!). Every other district is over that margin: 1st (Wittman), 4th (Forbes), 7th (Cantor), 10th (Wolf) and 11th (Connolly) – almost all Republicans. The 1st and the 10th Districts deviate the most from over ideal and the 9th deviates the most below.

For more details on process, which counties are growing (and who’s not) and stats on state legislative districts (in other words, to get your wonk on), check out the doument “Drawing the Line”.

Congrats to Shaun Kenney – BD Contributor and Fluvanna County Supervisor on Fluvanna being one of the state’s fastest growing communities since 2000. One has to wonder how much Shaun personally has had to do with that!

  • Just few years ago, Fluvanna was one of the fastest growing localities in the nation.

    …and yes, my family single-handedly caused this notable increase in Fluvanna’s population. 🙂

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  • Matt

    I hope they fix the 21st HD it is the worst shaped district probably in Va.

  • Henry Ryto

    Matt,

    It’s definitely a frontrunner. The 21st is the only House District in Virginia that falls in parts of three different Senate districts (7th, 8th, and 14th).

  • steve vaughan

    They have these hearings everytime they redistrict. It’s a waste of time eye wash. They aren’t actually listening to anything the public says, they redistrict strictly by what they want on the partisan front — and that’s true no matter which party is drawing the lines.
    I expect that the 2010 House redistricting will be less devastating to Dems than the 2001 plan, just because the GOP has fewer targets to go after. In 2001 they went after the Dem. caucus’ brain trust and got most of them. In 2010 it’s hard to figure out who the braintrust in the House Dem caucus is.
    The Senate redistricting is generally a more sedate affair than the House. The Senate GOP in 2001 went after Leslie Byrne and got her and meant to draw a seat for Jeannemarie Devolites and that worked, for a while.
    I’d be surprised if the Dems targeted more than one GOP seat. Senate districts are so big, except in NOVA, that’s it hard to gerrymander them as much. Although Sen. Lucas’ district, which wanders halfway across the state, is an exeption to that.

  • steve vaughan

    Oh, the GOP also got rid of Madison Marye’s seat in 2001. That was less a partisan thing than a demographic thing. The western part of the state had to lose a seat and Madison was retiring anyway.

  • Daniel D

    Fairfax virginia senate district 35 – what kind of representation do you have now – just plain blah and nothing in any new initiatives for his constituents” – you did have a cerebral, articulate, proven, constant hard working constituent serving representative in Jeannemarie Devolites Davis The first women in Virginia’s history to become the Majority Whip in the House of Delegates and the only Republican women in the Senate. Her leadership and loyal services to her constituencies should be reflected in the next state senatorial election by writing in her name if she does not place her name for election. You will not regretting doing so “you will win in Richmond with Jeannemarie Devolites Davis to Represent You” God Bless America and the voters of the 35th senate district of Virginia

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