PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is breaking down the ballot so you’ll know what to expect on Election Day.
When it comes to who will represent Hampton Roads in the United States Congress, recent redistricting is shaking things up. This year, a three-judge panel redrew the boundaries of Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District. They said it had too many minority voters packed into it. When the new lines were drawn, the ripple effect forced changes in surrounding districts.
The 1st District — which has always skewed Republican — now looks more red than ever and analysts predict that incumbent Representative Rob Wittman will be a shoe-in.
The new lines drew in reliably Republican Hanover County and New Kent County, while WAVY viewers in Yorktown, Poquoson, Eastern James City County and Williamsburg were kicked out.
Wittman has been serving the first district since 2007 and is seeking a fifth term. He is well positioned to advocate for the Navy, Shipbuilding and the Chesapeake Bay. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Natural Resources.
Wittman’s challenger, Democrat Matt Rowe, is a town councilman in Bowling Green. He’s a mapmaker and data analyst, husband and father to three children. Rowe stands for LGBT rights, paid family leave, campaign finance reform and says he was disgusted with the government shutdown in 2013. He says there is always a compromise to be made so ego and reelection need to be left at the door.
Independent Candidate Gail Parker is a retired reservist officer with the U.S. Air Force, and a government contractor. She lives in Alexandria. Parker is an advocate of high-speed rail to handle traffic congestion and supports an enforceable code of ethics for Congress.
In the 2nd District, just getting to the race for that U.S. Congressional seat has already been interesting.
It started in January when Representative Scott Rigell announced he would not run for reelection. Then in June, Delegate Scott Taylor beat Congressman Randy Forbes to clinch the Republican nomination. That bring us to Nov. 8, when voters, mostly from Virginia Beach, will decide who to send to Washington. The district — which is packed with military voters — will choose between Taylor, a former Navy Seal or Democrat Shaun Brown, an Ivy League educated businesswoman with global connections.
Delegate Taylor has served three years in the Virginia House. He is a fiscal conservative who wants less federal government. He supports gun owners’ rights and tax reform and wants to repeal Obamacare.
Brown supports a $15 minimum wage, paid maternity and family medical leave, better pay for active duty military, an audit of the Department of Defense and gun law reform.
Read more details about where the candidates stand on these and other issues on our special elections page.