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GOP Redistricting Targets Colgan's Va. Senate Seat

Proposed map would shuffle more Republican voters into Democrat's district.

A Republican effort to redistrict Virginia's state senate appears to directly target Dist. 29 Sen. Chuck Colgan (D-Prince William). 

The changes, introduced as an amendment to a larger bill late Monday, are awaiting House approval, but Democrats — who called the move an attempt to gain control of the evenly-split senate — are gearing up for a fight.

The new district map would shift Dale City voters to District 37, replacing them in Colgan's district with voters in Bristow, Gainesville, Lake Ridge and Occuquan — strengthening GOP numbers in what was a toss-up district.

For a map of districts under the proposed Republican plan, see this interactive from the Virginia Public Access Project.

Delegate Luke Torian (D-Prince William) issued a statement Monday expressing frustration at the Senate map changes and the impact it will have on Colgan's district. 

"I have concerns over the decision that was made today and as a result
I will continue to ask questions until I understand what happened to
Prince William and what happened to the Commonwealth," Torian said.

District 39 Sen. George Barker (D-Fairfax) will also see more GOP voters, according to the Virginia Public Access Project map. Barker will lose much of the area representing eastern Fairfax County and parts of Prince William County and head west to Centreville.  

Republicans called the statewide redistricting attempt "an effort to create another majority black Senate district." It comes two years after Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the state's traditional redistricting plan, crafted every 10 years with census data in years that end in "1."

Introducing yet another plan is unconstitutional, Senate democrats say; voting while Democratic State Sen. Harry Marsh, a 79-year-old civil rights leader, traveled to Washington for President Barack Obama's second inauguration was "underhanded." 

One Democratic analyst, Kenton Ngo, says "of the 6,147,347 voting age people in Virginia in Census 2010, 2,776,292 would be moved into a new district."

"This redistricting is out of time, out of order and outside the constitution which states that redistricting can only be done in 2011. Our community is being politically torn apart without any input or consideration," Petersen said in a statement after voting against the bill. "This measure is taken on a day when the nation is re-inaugurating our President, and celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King.  It is done outside the ordinary calendar and with the intent to maximize Republican power. There is no other purpose."

What do you think of this new redistricting plan? Tell us in the comments section below!

Neil Jacobs January 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM
The middle class need to think real hard and vote the Republicans out of office.
Roger Dean January 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM
The middle class need to think real hard and vote the Democrates out of office.
P Crawley January 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Neil Jacobs, you took the words out of my mouth. 2014 they need to be voted out of office.
Jim Kirkland January 23, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Manassas Park remains the red headed step child of Richmond. Shuffled from one district to another. Republican or Democrat we need consistent representation that understands our issues and needs, not a new face every time there's a fresh whim from the state capitol.
George Beall January 23, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I love how instead of winning with Ideas they attempt to grab power by map shifting. I think the will of the people will prevail dispite this maneuver. Rather is it GOP manure

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