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February 9, 2016

Posts in "Redistricting"

February 8, 2016

Randy Forbes Switches Virginia Districts for 2016 Race


Democrats are hoping that a redrawn 4th District will allow them to take on Forbes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Forbes will run in the 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Facing a redrawn 4th District much friendlier to Democrats, Virginia Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes has decided to run for the 2nd District, currently held by retiring Rep. Scott Rigell.

Forbes, chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, made national security the focus of his Monday announcement streamed live on his Facebook page, arguing that his place on the committee is good for Virginia and the military.

Full story

January 14, 2016

Virginia’s Scott Rigell Not Running for Re-election

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., arrives for the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rigell was first elected to the House in 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:23 p.m.: Three-term Virginia GOP Rep. Scott Rigell announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election in 2016 because he’s achieved what he set out to do.

“You might ask, ‘Why is now the time to leave?’ The answer is found in why I set aside all else and sought the office: to build a strong House majority that would check and balance the party that then controlled both political branches of the federal government. With your help we did just that,” Rigell said in a statement that includes a chart showing discretionary spending falling since he came to Washington.

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January 13, 2016

Obama Tries to Build Bipartisan Redistricting Momentum

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 12 - President Barack Obama speaks during his final State of the Union to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Obama called for bipartisan groups to take over redistricting during his final State of the Union. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Calling for a systematic change to American politics in Tuesday’s State of the Union, President Barack Obama gave a somewhat surprising shout-out to bipartisan redistricting reform.

“I think we’ve got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters and not the other way around,” he said, before going off script to add, “Let a bipartisan group do it.”

Advocates of redistricting reform were pleased to hear the president validate their issue, but they cautioned that sweeping change at the national level isn’t likely anytime soon. Full story

January 12, 2016

Senate Conservatives Fund Makes First House Endorsements of 2016

Ellmers denied "completely false allegations" against her Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SCF has backed one of Ellmers’ primary challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed its first three House candidates of the cycle on Tuesday.

The SCF has traditionally backed conservative Senate candidates, but in 2013 the organization started playing in House races with its “House Conservatives Project.”

“These candidates are all principled conservative leaders who have strong grassroots support. We need them in the U.S. House to reinforce the efforts of our conservative allies,” SCF President Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “They will stand up to the big spenders in both parties and work to defend the principles of freedom that make our nation great. We are proud to support Jim Banks, Mary Thomas, and Jim Duncan,” he said.

  • Indiana’s 3rd District: State Sen. Jim Banks is running in a crowded GOP primary for the seat Rep. Marlin Stutzman is vacating to run for the Senate. Banks also has the backing of the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express.
  • Florida’s 2nd District: Mary Thomas, currently general counsel at the Department of Elder Affairs in Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, who faces a daunting re-election due to redistricting.
  • North Carolina’s 2nd District: Jim Duncan, who chairs North Carolina’s Chatham County Republican Party, is running in the Republican primary to unseat three-term Rep. Renee Ellmers. The Club for Growth endorsed Duncan in December.

At the Senate level, SCF has backed Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, running for the Senate seat currently held by Marco Rubio, and Stutzman.

Contact Pathé at and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

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January 7, 2016

Judges Select New Virginia Congressional Map

Democrats are hoping that a redrawn 4th District will allow them to take on Forbes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia’s new map would make Forbes’ district more Democratic. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A federal three-judge panel selected a new congressional map for the 2016 elections Thursday.

The map is one of two proposed maps that a court-appointed special master — in this case a political science professor at University of California, Irvine — released in November 2015 that would give Democrats a shot at picking up another seat. Currently, Democrats hold three of the state’s 11 congressional seats. Full story

December 22, 2015

Virginia’s Robert Hurt To Retire After Three Terms

UNITED STATES - MAY 19: Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Va., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Hurt is expected to retire at the end of this term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:30 a.m. December 23 | After representing Virginia’s 5th District for just three terms, GOP Rep. Robert Hurt will retire at the end of this term, he announced Wednesday.

Several Republican sources had confirmed to Roll Call on Tuesday that Hurt would retire at the end of this term.

The open seat should give Democrats a better opportunity to win, but it won’t vault into the first or second tier of opportunities. Mitt Romney carried the 5th District by 7 points in 2012 and Arizona Sen. John McCain won it by 3 points in 2008. Republican Ken Cuccinelli won the district by 10 points, 51-41 percent, over Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the 2013 gubernatorial race, according to Daily Kos Elections.
Full story

December 18, 2015

North Carolina Supreme Court Upholds Congressional Map

UNITED STATES - MARCH 20: Alma Adams, democratic congressional candidate from North Carolina, is interviewed by Roll Call. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Alma Adams represents one of the districts that challengers to the current map most often say is gerrymandered. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a defeat for North Carolina Democrats, who hold just three of the states’s 11 congressional seats, the state Supreme Court upheld the state’s current congressional and legislative map Friday.

The court found that the GOP legislature did not illegally consider race when  drawing the district lines in 2011. Democrats had been hoping that a ruling against the current map would help them pick up another seat in a redraw.

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December 14, 2015

Before He Runs for Governor in 2017, Wittman Faces Uncertain District in 2016

UNITED STATES - MARCH 29: Rep. Robert Wittman, R-Va., speaks during the news conference on American Energy Initiative legislation to expand U.S. energy production on Tuesday morning, March 29, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Wittman is running for governor in 2017. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia’s 1st District Rep. Rob Wittman announced over the weekend that he’s running for the GOP nomination for governor in 2017.

“Obviously our focus is on winning in 2016, but I am preparing for 2017,” Wittman told The Washington Post on Dec. 12.

Full story

December 7, 2015

Democrats Interested in Virginia’s Fuzzy 4th District Bide Their Time

Democrats are hoping that a redrawn 4th District will allow them to take on Forbes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are hoping that a redrawn 4th District will allow them to take on Forbes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Calls to political operatives on both sides of the aisle about Virginia’s congressional redistricting yield a similar response: uncertainty and confusion.

“I’ve told my members to sit tight and see where this thing goes with the courts,” 4th District Democratic Committee Chair Susan Rowland told Roll Call. 

Full story

December 2, 2015

Florida Democrats Make Gains With Court-Approved Congressional Map

Brown, right, blasted the ruling in the Florida redistricting case. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brown, right, has threatened to challenge Florida’s new map in the Supreme Court. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By declaring finality in the legal fight over the Sunshine State’s congressional map, the Florida Supreme Court’s decision added uncertainty to the political one in 2016.

The court on Wednesday approved a new map, writing in a 5-2 opinion that the lines “should bring much needed finality” to the redistricting drama that has plagued Florida for four years.

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November 17, 2015

Special Master Offers Alternative Virginia Congressional Maps

The special master responsible for redrawing Scott's 3rd District released his report Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Scott’s 3rd District is being redrawn after a court ruled the state legislature had drawn the lines to dilute African-Americans’ influence. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Days after the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal to a lower court’s decision tossing out Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District boundaries, a special master appointed by the lower court released two proposals to remedy the state’s map Tuesday.

University of California, Irvine, political science professor Bernard Grofman, whom a federal three-judge panel appointed as the special master earlier this fall after the state’s General Assembly failed to agree upon a new map, rejected the eight existing map proposals.

Full story

November 13, 2015

Supreme Court to Hear Virginia Redistricting Case


The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Virginia's congressional districts. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling invalidating Virginia’s congressional districts. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal to a lower court’s ruling that Virginia’s GOP-controlled legislature illegally packed blacks into the 3rd Congressional District when they drew new lines in 2012.

Current and former members of the state’s Republican congressional delegation appealed the three-judge panel’s June decision, which found that the legislature had intentionally used race to draw the district lines.

Full story

November 12, 2015

3 States Still Have Fuzzy District Lines for 2016

A court-appointed special master is currently redrawing Virginia's congressional map to address Scott's 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A court-appointed special master is currently redrawing Virginia’s congressional map to address Scott’s 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The filing deadline to run in North Carolina’s primaries is less than a month away. But with a redistricting case still outstanding, anyone interested in running for Congress can’t know for sure what district they’ll find themselves in.

The boundaries of the 1st and 12th districts have been challenged on the grounds that the GOP legislature packed too many black voters into those districts when they drew them in 2011.

Full story

November 11, 2015

Florida District Lines in Limbo as Court Ruling Awaited


Brown, who has served 12 terms in Congress, says she will take her issues with the new map to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Florida State Supreme Court heard arguments over a new congressional map on Tuesday, but has yet to make a final decision on what the lines for the Sunshine State’s 27 House districts will look like.

The oral arguments were the final step before the state Supreme Court rules in a years-long litigious battle over the district lines. Whatever map the court ultimately chooses will likely be used for the 2016 elections.

Full story

October 9, 2015

New Florida Map Likely to Benefit Democrats

Jolly's seat was made more Democratic, leading him to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jolly’s seat was made more Democratic, leading him to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After years of litigation, a Florida circuit court judge recommended Friday that the state Supreme Court adopt a new congressional map proposed by the League of Women Voters and Common Cause of Florida — one of the final steps in a prolonged legal battle that will likely net Democrats a few more House seats in 2016.

(See the differences between the current and proposed maps)

After the Florida state House and Senate could not come to an agreement on a new map during a special session in August, the Florida Supreme Court tasked judge Terry Lewis with making a recommendation on which map should be adopted for the 2016 cycle.  Operatives from both parties say the state Supreme Court is unlikely to tinker with Lewis’ recommendation.

Full story

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