The commission unveiled several maps that its chair, Dr. Bob Holsworth, believes strike the balance sought by voters and the governor. Holsworth says the House has two options:
"One that has the existing 12 majority-minority districts, but a second option that actually includes 13 majority-minority districts," he says.
Holsworth prefers the second, which enhances minority voting strength. For the Senate, Holsworth says the panel recommends the same two percent population deviation model adopted last week by Senators, with compromises.
"If you relax the population ratios of equal population to 2 percent or 3 percent, then it's very possible to draw district lines that respect political boundaries far better than the 2001 map," he says.
The political infighting has begun. The Senate Democrats' plan places four Republicans into two districts. House Republicans also create three Northern Virginia seats, but fold Minority Leader Ward Armstrong's seat into a GOP stronghold.