HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — If affirmed, a federal judge’s ruling to redraw the lines of Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District will change many voters’ representation in the nation’s capital.
Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va. 3) currently represents people from Richmond to Norfolk. A federal judge ruled the district unconstitutional in 2014 due to its predominance of African-American voters.
The decision Thursday draws new lines and makes the 3rd Congressional District more Hampton Roads centered, with the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th districts all to be affected in losing some jurisdictions and gaining others.
The new lines reduce the percentage of African-American voters from 56 to 45 percent.
“I am satisfied legally that the new district will pass the constitutional muster,” said Rep. Scott. “The districts are designed for the people, not the for the candidates or the incumbents. My job is to take the districts that are drawn and do the best that I can with it.”
All of Newport News will be brought into the 3rd District and more of Hampton, including the area around the Hampton Golf Course. In Norfolk, the Larchmont and Lakewood neighborhood’s would shift into Rep. Scott’s district. In Chesapeake, South Norfolk, Greenbrier West and Deep Creek North would also fall into the newly drawn district. Parts of northern Suffolk and all of Franklin and Isle of Wight County also are included inside the new boundaries.
Rep. Scott, who was first elected in 1992, says he plans to be a candidate in the November 2016 election under the former or newly proposed lines.
“If the U.S. Supreme Court affirms the three-judge panel’s re-drawing, I would expect to be a candidate and do the best I can,” he said.
Rep. Scott has not made a formal re-election announcement. The deadline to file for candidacy is in April.
Senator Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton) released the following statement:
I am happy that the judges chose to discontinue use of the unconstitutional gerrymandered 3rd Congressional District and instead adopt a plan very similar to the one I introduced in the General Assembly in 20ll. I am glad that citizens in the 3rd and 4th districts will now have an opportunity to elect candidates of their choice.
For a street-by-street view of the newly drawn congressional districts, click here.