Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Monday, May 01, 2006

House of Delegates 2010

2010 will bring about some major changes in the HOD landscape. NOVA will continue to gain seats while the rural areas of Southwest and Southside continue to lose seats. As before, my analysis will assume total GOP control of the redistricting process.

There will be about 5 new seats created in 2010, all of them being in NOVA or the "exurbs".
First off, Loudoun County will gain 2 seats within its borders. This will probably be accomplished through cutting Joe May's 33rd district in half, leaving Joe with his home base of Leesburg, and creating a new district in west Loudoun and Clarke (and Frederick if needed). The second seat will be the Loudoun sections of Bob Marshall and Chuck Caputo's seats (and maybe Rust's as well). The other strategy will be to have more border jumper districts to dilute Fairfax precincts as much as possible. I don't see that happening since east Loudoun is trending about the same as the Sully and Springfield precincts in Fairfax County.

Next, PWC will gain almost 2 seats. This will probably be accomplished by making Lingamfelter's PWC section as a new district and splitting off part of Bob Marshall's district into a new district as well. Here too we may see border jumper districts into Fauquier from PWC like Lingamfelter's current district if we see a weakening of the GOP there. If not, some have expected Albo's district to move into Frederick's to strengthen that seat.

Spotsylvania/Stafford will gain a seat. This will likely be done by shrinking Cole's district and then pushing Orrock's district north and creating a new seat in southern Spotsylvania. Peace can lose his section of Spotsy b/c of growth in Hanover and Caroline Counties.

Where will the seats come from? Most likely the GOP will try to draw the 2nd and 3rd districts in the SWVA coal fields into one district to gain a seat there. The GOP will then lose a seat in southside, which will basically be diluted over the whole area.
Some have proposed Paula Miller's 87th in Tidewater will be eliminated and will give her district's precincts to all the adjacent districts. That seems probable.
The 4th seat will come out of Fairfax/Arlington. My guess is the 67th will be eliminated if Caputo is still there in order to strengthen Rust and Hugo's districts. Another possibility is the 41st to strengthen Hugo and Albo. We will have to see.
The 5th seat will come out of the 3rd congressional district. It is anyone's guess which district will be eliminated to do that.

There a few other downstate seats the GOP may try to redraw in order to strengthen them, or eliminate entreached democratic incumbents. The most likely ones would be Joe Johnson and Ward Armstrong (and maybe even Jim Shuler). This could be done a host of ways, but if they are no longer in their seats by 2010, those seats will likely be in GOP hands anyway.
Another redrawing job will be the 23rd district in Lynchburg. It seems probable that they may give Ben Cline a portion of Lynchburg in order to dilute the city making a new 23rd that is more like 30-35% from Bedford County. This would all be seal this seat for the GOP.


  • At 5/02/2006 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    GOP Hokie: I am very impressed with your analysis and willingness to take a forward-look at redistricting. I am disappointed there have not been more comments; this is likely because few people can hang with you on this analysis. I personally would love to see Caputo's district be drawn away!

  • At 5/02/2006 9:49 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Anon, thanks for the kind words. If the GOP cannot win back the 67th by 2010 that will be the first seat on the chopping block.
    It has so many strong precincts (relatively speaking) that it would be very helpful in proping up the 34th, 86th and 40th.

  • At 5/04/2006 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Joe Johnson?

  • At 5/06/2006 2:44 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Yes, sorry about that.
    I will fix it.


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