A new map places Fauquier in the 10th congressional district


The proposal would place all of Fauquier in the redesigned 10th Congressional District.

By Peter Galuszka
Virginia Mercury

Special redistribution experts working for the Virginia Supreme Court have submitted redesigned federal and state legislative districts.

New cards for the United States House of Representatives, Virginia House of Delegates, and State Senate are undergoing public review ahead of the court’s public hearings on December 15 and 17. The court will review the comments and approve new maps by December. 19.

Any Fauquier would move to the redesigned 10th Congressional District, along with Loudoun, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania, Greene and half of Albemarle County.

Over the past decade, most of Fauquier has been divided between District 5, which extends to the North Carolina border, and District 1, which extends to Tidewater.

Republicans Bob Good in the 5th and Rob Wittman in the 1st represent Fauquier.

Loudoun County resident Jennifer Wexton represents the 10th district in the House of Representatives.

Before the last redistribution, the 10th arrondissement included Fauquier, with Frank Wolf (R) representing the county.

Lawmakers and others rushed to consider the proposed cards on Thursday.

Conversations with some of them show that the efforts of Special Masters Sean P. Trende and Bernard N. Grofman have met the expectations of drawn maps with communities in mind, not politicians.

“It’s getting pretty close to being fair,” Del said. Lashrecse Aird (D-Petersburg).

A key principle that the masters kept in mind was the idea of ​​”communities of interest” in which the actual groupings of voters around linked towns, villages and counties carried more weight than drawing districts. oddly shaped designed to maintain the political status quo.

“We carefully designed districts that met constitutional and regulatory population requirements,” wrote Mr. Trende and Mr. Grofman in their summary released on December 8. “In doing so, we have minimized the divisions between counties and cities, while respecting natural boundaries and communities of interest. (‘COI’) wherever possible.”

This, said Liz White, director of OneVirginia2021, a nonprofit that has done everything possible to get the redistribution out of the hands of the majority party in the General Assembly, is “an important part of the national redistribution movement.”

“At first glance, they seem fair within the framework of a partisan balance,” Ms. White said. “It’s great that they are coming out so early to give the audience a chance to watch them.”

Lessons learned from early reviews of maps tended to show that maps tended to favor Democrats more than Republicans, as they are concentrated around natural social centers, such as cities.

The proposed reshuffle of the 7th Congressional District, however, was immediately controversial as the Special Masters recommended that the entire district be moved further north to include the counties of Stafford and Prince Williams which are rapidly diversifying and becoming more and more in addition to Democrats.

The current 7th District would be split between 5th and 1st Congressional Districts, seats now held by Republicans Bob Good and Rob Wittman.

The loser in the plans appears to be U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-Henrico), a promising politician who has gained national attention and has been a major GOP target. She had planned to run for a third term, but if she wants to do so now, she will have to run elsewhere.

The possibilities include running in 1st District and taking on Wittman, who would be a serious contender, or the new 7th District, which is 50 miles from his home in Henrico County.

“This is bad news for Spanberger but good news overall for Democrats,” said Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science at the University of Mary Washington.

Ms White, of OneVirginia2021, said “it’s not the job of special masters to protect anyone.” Representative Spanberger’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Of the. Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville) gave a positive opinion on the proposed new 57th borough, which she currently represents. The map places Charlottesville squarely in the center of the neighborhood with the suburbs sprawling out “like a donut,” she said. “It’s natural. Voters can work in the city and live, shop and play right outside.

Several Republican lawmakers did not respond to requests for comment on the new cards. Garren Shipley, spokesperson for the new GOP House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah County), said: “We have a general no-comment policy on the redistribution.”

After the public hearings and the final decision of the Supreme Court, the new maps will be drawn up. There will be no legislative or governor’s review, Ms. White says.

Reshuffling the cards has long been a controversial process, as the party in charge of the General Assembly has generally been successful in creating new cards that kept its people in power.

Fed up, voters in Virginia approved a constitutional amendment in 2020 calling for a 16-member redistribution commission made up of eight citizens appointed by lawmakers and eight lawmakers.

The commission, however, was crippled by partisanship and acrimony, failing to agree on a single deck of cards.


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