How Court Plan Would Affect Partisan Lean of Some House Districts
The U.S. Eastern District Court has redrawn the boundaries of 25 House of Delegates districts, a move that could have a major impact on the partisan balance of power in the General Assembly.
The plan would move at least 370,000 voters to new districts and make it more difficult this November for House Republicans to defend their current 51-48 majority.
However, it's not certain what the House maps will look like this fall. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Republican appeal of the lower court decision this spring. The legal action is likely to delay primary elections from June until after Labor Day.
The case was brought by Democrats, who claim the existing districts -- in place since 2011 -- violate the U.S. Constitution because Republicans drew minority-majority districts with a set 55 percent African-American population.
If the lower court map withstands appeal, below is a list of impacted districts that would appear -- based on 2012 presidential election results -- to be the most competitive:
Democratic-held seats that would become harder to defend
- HD 93 – Mike Mullin (D-Newport News)
Republican-held seats that would become harder to defend
- HD 66 – Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights)
- HD 76 – Chris Jones (R-Suffolk)
- HD 81 – Barry Knight (R-Virginia Beach)
- HD 83 – Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach)
- HD 91 – Gordon Helsel (R-Poquoson)
- HD 94 – David Yancey (R-Newport News)
Democratic-held districts that would become slightly easier to defend
- HD 72 – Schuyler VanValkenburg (D-Henrico)
- HD 85 – Cheryl Turpin (D-Virginia Beach)
Republican-held districts with no significant change
- HD 62 – Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell)
Jan. 23, 2019