Quayle will not seek re-election to state Senate

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, June 7, 2011



SUFFOLK—Nearly 20 years of service in the state Senate will come to an end for Sen. Fred Quayle this year.

Sen. Harry Blevins on Tuesday announced he would run for re-election in the 14th District. That district now includes Quayle’s home in Suffolk after redistricting moved his district to northern Virginia.

“I’m getting used to it,” said Quayle, whose former district included portions of Franklin and Isle of Wight and Southampton counties. “I’m a little disappointed it worked out that way, but it’s all right. Twenty years is long enough.”

Hampton Roads lost the seat after astronomical population growth in the northern part of the state. Even though Suffolk’s population grew by about 32.8 percent in the last decade, the rest of Hampton Roads didn’t keep up.

The plan that sacrificed Quayle’s seat was conceived after Gov. Bob McDonnell vetoed an original plan that moved a Virginia Beach district instead. McDonnell said the first plan amounted to “partisan gerrymandering” and lacked bipartisan support.

Quayle is familiar with the unexpected nature of redistricting. It was the same process following the 1990 Census that put him in a district he thought he could win.

“It stayed that way for 20 years,” he said. “The center of the district [now] has moved back towards Chesapeake.”

Quayle said the change is “unfortunate” for Suffolk, as there will now be four different senators — none of whom lives in Suffolk — representing portions of Suffolk.

Under the new plan, Blevins’ district encompasses a giant portion of Suffolk that includes the precincts of Cypress Chapel, Whaleyville, Airport, Holy Neck, Holland, Kilby’s Mill, Lakeside and Lake Cohoon, as well as parts of King’s Fork and Elephant’s Fork.