In what is becoming the modus operandi of the Republican Party, the Virginia GOP rammed through a redistricting bill to try and deny the Democrats power if at all possible. The Republicans rammed through the redistricting bill on Monday while Democratic State Senator Harry Marsh was absent. This allowed the passage of the legislation to go through on a vote of 20 to 19 given the even split between the Democrats and Republicans.
The districts cover the state and would maximize the number of safe Republican Senate seats. It reverses the state Senate map created in 2011. According to Republican Senator John Watkins, the bill was suppose to create another majority Black district, but he never stated that it would rewrite the whole map to give the Republicans a majority.
The move came as a surprise to Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell, who remains non-committal on the new map. Virginia Democratic Senator Don McEachin stated “We talk about the dangers of legislating on the fly. Well, this is the ultimate in danger. The public has no idea what we’re about to do adopting this substitute, nor would they know in the next three days that it would take for this bill to ultimately pass.”