State Sen. Chap Petersen introduces bill to create competitive congressional districts
For the 2015 Special Session, Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) will introduce a redistricting bill that will dramatically change Virginia’s congressional districts with the intent of leading to more contested elections. The bill, based on the University of Virginia winning map from the 2011 Divison One Virginia Redistricting Competition, creates six competitive Congressional districts.
Three of the proposed districts in Petersen’s plan are “highly competitive” (with less than 5% partisan differential*) and three are “generally competitive” (with partisan differentials greater than 5% but less than 10%*).
This compares to the current congressional districts, where the smallest winning percentage in 2014 was over 16%.
Senator Petersen believes that competitive congressional districts are essential for keeping elected officials accountable: “When you have a competitive district, you get representation that actually pays attention to the views of all constituents – not just the fringe.” Petersen said from his law office in Fairfax.
*The data used in creating the partisan differentials is from 2011, and may not entirely reflect current partisan differences. More details on the criteria used to create the map can be found here and an overall review of the contest and plan data can be found here. The map is subject to fine-tuning to reflect recent population growth, as well as consistency with precinct and jurisdictional boundaries.
– Senator J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen (www.FairfaxSenator.com) represents Virginia’s 34th Senate District, located in Fairfax County. The district includes the City of Fairfax, the Town of Vienna, portions of Fairfax, Oakton, Dunn Loring, and Centreville.