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by Brandon Jarvis

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is responding to the redistricting proposal that the Supreme Court of Virginia (SCOVA) is considering. The maps lower the reelection prospects for a few Democratic incumbents across the commonwealth.

“Virginia’s first draft Congressional map is a disaster that completely fails to deliver fair representation that reflects the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). “Virginia voters wanted a bipartisan and transparent process. What they got was two people hastily drafting a map behind closed doors and ignoring public input.” 

In the proposal submitted by two special masters to SCOVA last week, Reps. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) received unfavorable districts. 

Spanberger was drawn into a more conservative district with Republican Congressman Rob Wittman. The seventh district that she currently represented was shifted to Northern Virginia to form a new district anchored in Prince William County. Spanberger has not released any comment about the proposal. 

Luria was drawn into a district with powerful Democratic incumbent Bobby Scott. Residing in Norfolk, she was barely drawn out of her current district that is anchored in Virginia Beach. The law does not require that members of Congress live in their district, however. Luria has also not released any public comment about the redistricting proposal.

Wexton’s district was reliably blue the last four years, but the redraw provided a more favorable drawing for Republicans putting the seat back into play.

“The first draft result is a deeply flawed and racially problematic map that prioritizes male incumbents while exclusively punishing female incumbents in the delegation,” Maloney said. “The special masters seem to be attached to a Virginia that exists only in the past. They must start the process from scratch and offer a map reflective of Virginia’s richly diverse population.”

The Princeton Gerrymandering Project released grades for the redistricting proposals that were submitted to SCOVA. They scored the congressional draft as an “A” overall and in Partisan Fairness, with “Cs” in Competitiveness and Geography.

“It has five pretty safe D seats, 2 very safe R seats, 2 lean R seats, and 2 lean D seats (for a likely delegation of 7D-4R),” their report said. “These results could be quite different in R-leaning years, with a delegation of 6R-5D from Virginia quite feasible.”

The maps are not final as SCOVA still has to approve them. It is unclear how much altering the court will do to the lines, but there seems to be a general consensus among operatives in both parties that the final maps will be similar to the ones released Wednesday.

The court is asking for public feedback on the maps in two separate hearings this week.

If you are interested in participating in the public hearings that are taking place between 1 pm and 4 pm on Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, email the court at Redistricting@vacourts.gov with your request.


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By vascope