INTERVIEW – VA DEL. TIM HUGO – — representing the 40th district, which includes the municipalities of Catharpin, Clifton, and Fairfax Station and is the Majority Caucus Chairman for the Virginia House Republican Caucus – discussed the redistricting fight in Virginia.
- State lawmakers clash over legislative redistricting. RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – State lawmakers reconvened for a special session on redistricting Thursday, but they’re no closer to a decision. Republicans spent the day grilling Democrats about their proposal to change 29 House districts. Meanwhile, Democrats accused Republicans of delaying to avoid court ordered redistricting. In June, a federal panel ruled that 11 districts in Richmond, Petersburg and Hampton Roads must be redrawn. The panel determined that lawmakers illegally packed African-American voters into some districts to make surrounding districts more Republican. Republicans are appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court and had asked the federal court to extend an Oct. 30 deadline until the case is heard. However, the Virginia federal court denied that motion at the end of the day Thursday, arguing voters need constitutional district lines for the 2019 House elections. When the special session opened Thursday, delegates briefly debated the Democrats’ proposal to redraw 29 House districts. Democrats say they provide fair representation, but Republicans complained they will likely flip five Republican seats to Democrats and that several Republican incumbents were drawn into the same districts. “It paired four of our Republican incumbents into the same district,” said House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R – Shenandoah). “This map kept a number of Democratic incumbents separated who lived less than a mile apart from each other.” House Minority Leader David Toscano (D – Charlottesville) said the criticism is a delay tactic, saying, “Until a court acts or grants an appeal or grants a stay, you are required to comply with the terms with an order of the court.” When the bill moved the House Privileges and Elections Committee, Toscano said he did not have information on Republican incumbents addresses in drawing the House districts.