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Virginia Redistricting: And Now, On To Congressional Districts

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The Senate, controlled by Democrats, and the House, controlled by Republicans, are each expected to ultimately reject their counterpart's proposals. But some constituents want lawmakers to put far more thought into the process for the people, rather than just protect their own political interests.

One such observer is former Governor Doug Wilder. He says the plans for Congressional districts now under review were not drawn for the people, especially African Americans, who he says are underrepresented in both chambers.

Wilder says it's vexing that the Legislative Black Caucus kept the number of House Majority-Minority districts at 12.

"The prevailing view though was that the people who wanted to keep it at 12, they said, 'Make our districts blacker, put more people of color in our districts, we think that might ensure our re-election,' rather than broaden it," he says.

He says the Senate could have increased the number of majority-minority districts to six.

Now, the caucus has created another majority-minority congressional District by cutting the number of black voters in the only district in Virginia with a majority black vote: the 3rd Congressional district represented by Congressman Bobby Scott.

But Wilder says when Scott first ran for the seat with so few African-Americans in his district, he was defeated.

Negotiations on the Congressional districts are ongoing.


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