I had a friend on Facebook comment that while the GOP's re-redistricting bill was pretty brazen, its nice that he (who lives in Alexandria) isn't in the same Senate district as his mom (Loudoun) anymore. Corey Stewart's statement similarly makes the case from a Prince William County perspective . . . that the county was sliced into five different Senate districts. The George Barker redistricting plan was a really brazen gerrymandering job that should make anyone blush. In Northern Virginia, PWC and Arlington were carved up specifically for incumbent protection. There was very little interest in creating districts compact and local.
I've posted Stewart's statement below (via Virtucon). I can accept this rationale, but it does blow-up a bit when you consider the job the House of Delegates did in doing the exact same thing but for the GOP. Unfortunately for House Democrats, I doubt 20 GOP delegates will forget to show up for work tomorrow.
Woodbridge, VA – In regard to the altered Senate Districts, which were approved by the Virginia Senate on Monday, Prince William County Chairman and Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Corey Stewart, released the following statement:
“In my opinion the Republican members of the Senate acted boldly and justifiably in re-adjusting the Senate districts. The plan drawn by Senator Barker in 2011 was a confusing mess and a clear-cut example of partisan-gerrymandering. Not only does the proposed plan help enhance Virginia’s compliance with the Voting Rights Act, but it also mitigates Senator Barker’s egregious districts.
I can specifically speak to how awful the Democrat’s plan, which is currently in place, has impacted Prince William County. Like many other counties, cities, and towns in Virginia, we are currently carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey. The County is split into five different Senate districts, four of which are centered in other jurisdictions. The 425,000 residents of Prince William County, who by their numbers are entitled to more than two full senate districts, are represented by only one senator who is a county resident. This new plan also corrects split precincts, which have caused significant confusion among voters.
If I were presiding over the State Senate, I would have supported this plan and used my position to advocate for it.”