Redrawn Virginia congressional districts to stay

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Virginia’s redrawn congressional districts are to stay, dismissing the appeal that Representatives J. Randy Forbes (District 4), Rob Wittman (District 1) and Dave Brat (District 7) filed against the new lines. With this new ruling, the City of Franklin and Isle of Wight County will fall under a different district than Southampton County.

A bid to block the new lines of Virginia’s Congressional District was turned down by the Supreme Court in the beginning of February. After that ruling, Forbes, Wittman and Brat all appealed it, arguing that the new lines would hurt their chances of reelection in their prospective districts.

In the meantime, Forbes, who was fearful of not being reelected, decided that in the next election he would run for the District 2 seat, instead of the District 4 seat that he currently holds.

“In light of the District Court’s decision striking down the redistricting plan, Representative Forbes, the Republican incumbent in District 4, decided to run in District 2,” the ruling states. “Originally, Representative Forbes argued that he would abandon his campaign in District 2 and run in District 4 if this Court ruled in his favor. Now, however, he has informed the Court that he will continue to seek election in District 2 regardless of this appeal’s outcome. Given this change, this Court does not see how any injury that Forbes might have suffered is ‘likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial system.’”

The ruling also dismissed Wittman and Brat’s arguments.

“Representatives Wittman and Brat, the incumbents in Congressional Districts 1 and 7, respectively, have not identified any record evidence to support their allegation that the redistricting plan has harmed their prospects of reelection,” the ruling continued.

Now that the new lines have been ruled to stay, the City of Franklin and Isle of Wight County find themselves in District 3, which is currently under Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA). However, Southampton County will stay in the 4th District.

A primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 14, with the general election taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Currently, District 4 has four candidates on the ballot: Donald McEachin (D), Ella Ward (D), Mike Wade (R) and Jackee Gonzalez (R). District 3 has two candidates on its ballot: incumbent Bobby Scott (D) and Marty Williams (R).

The Tidewater News will report more information on the candidates after the primary election.