Gov. McDonnell Vetoes Redistricting Plan

by ARLnow.com April 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm 2,555 14 Comments

Virgina Gov. Bob McDonnell vetoed a redistricting plan approved by the General Assembly, adding another layer of drama to the local races for state legislature.

McDonnell, a Republican, said the districts in the Democratic-controlled state Senate’s redistricting plan did not “preserve communities of interest, ensure compact districts and maintain generally equivalent populations in each district.” That, the governor said, is a violation of state and federal law.

This is the first time a Virginia governor has vetoed a redistricting plan since 1981.

Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, meanwhile, is accusing Gov. McDonnell of “playing politics” with his veto. He pledged to approve the exact same redistricting plan again while daring the governor to veto it.

The plan approved by Saslaw and the state Senate would have extended the Arlington-centric 31st District (above) into eastern Fairfax and Loudoun counties. McDonnell’s veto will throw the races for the 30th and 31st state Senate districts into a state of uncertainty — candidates will have no way of knowing the final boundaries of the district they’re running for.

  • Novanglus

    Good for him — and I don’t usually say that about this governor. Those districts looked like a pile of noodles (to avoid a less appetizing metaphor).

  • Kind of bummed about this. I was looking forward to Babs having to sit in I-66 traffic in order to go campaign.

    • brendan


    • Bluemontsince 1961


    • KalashniKEV

      +3 Eight lanes NOW, please.

      • mehoo

        No, 16 lanes! Let’s look like Los Angeles, a commuter’s paradise!

  • Don

    Given that this plan was garbage and ignored the input of the bi-partisan redistricting advisory committee, good. http://www2.newsadvance.com/news/2011/apr/15/keep-pressure-mcdonnell-ar-973220/

  • charlie

    i think the justice department needs to just step in right now and slap everyone in Virginia politics. They will have to step in eventually. these districts are petty and absurd. not that i expected anything less.

    • Lou

      You know, I wonder if the DOJ provides a legislative liaison team during the process to make sure that the initial review of the state’s plan does not just go horribly wrong.

    • mehoo

      The DOJ has no power to make sure the districts make sense, only that they don’t violate the Voting Rights Act.

  • Jack

    It was a mistake for Saslaw to draft a plan that is untenable on its face and completely abandons any of the redistricting commissions’ principles. It was a mistake for House Dems to vote yes on the House GOP plan, which McDonnell also vetoed and could have been improved. And it was a mistake for Saslaw to announce this afternoon that he will not change his plan. McDonnell looks like the defender of the people while the Democrats look craven.

  • LPS4DL

    What about the ridiculous Republican redistricting plan drawn by the general assembly? The gov has no problem with that travesty.

    • ChrisG

      The one that had general bi-partisan support?

  • Allan

    Hmm, a fair Republican? What will our residents in Arlington have to say about that?


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