The Virginia Supreme Court declared final redistricting boundaries this past week. Although the final boundaries are somewhat close to the draft created by the Court-appointed “special masters” earlier in the month, the Court apparently paid attention to the many comments that were posted to the Court’s redistricting site.
Craig County stayed in the Ninth instead of moving into the Sixth. The Sixth did get Alleghany, Frederick, and Clark Counties along with the cities of Winchester, Covington, and Salem. The way Roanoke County is divided between the Sixth and the Ninth Districts changed a bit as well.
The Sixth District lost the northern part of Bedford County to the Ninth except for the Forest area, which along with Lynchburg City and Amherst County went to the Fifth. The southern part of Bedford County moved from the Fifth to the Ninth. You can look at the final boundaries of Congressional districts by clicking here, of House of Delegates districts by clicking here, and State Senate districts by clicking here.
Redistricting means that the State Central Committee (SCC) of the Republican Party of Virginia faces a major change in its membership. By rule, a member of SCC must live in the district from which he or she was elected. Because of redistricting, a lot of people who served on SCC until this week are no longer members. I know of two district chairs who are no longer district chairs because their homes are no longer in the districts that they chaired. Quite a few regular members in the eastern part of the state are no longer on SCC because the district changes were rather substantial in that end of the state.
One (now former) SCC member from the Ninth lives in one of the precincts that moved into the Sixth. Even though the Sixth also lost a SCC member, the former Ninth SCC member does not automatically fill the vacant slot in the Sixth. One former SCC member from the Fifth lives in Green County, which is now in the Seventh District. Another former member lives in Goochland County which was in the Seventh but is now in the Fifth. They cannot trade jobs. Each district committee has the responsibility of filling any vacancies on SCC from their own districts.
The seat I held representing the Sixth on SCC is now vacant because Lynchburg moved to the Fifth. I have worked closely with many people in the Fifth over the years, and I may see about running for the open Fifth District SCC seat. Either way, things should be interesting in Republican politics for the next little while.
As I leave the Sixth let me say that I have greatly enjoyed the time I have spent serving Sixth District Republicans on SCC. It has been my honor to serve you and my delight to meet you. You continue to give me hope that we can turn this mess we call our government around. There are still good people in America, and a healthy percentage of them live in the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia.
I was asked to run in 2016, and once I decided to run, I also decided to do the best job that I could. I have kept the campaign promises I made in that campaign. Until COVID I traveled to meetings and events all over the district talking with you and getting to know you so that I could better represent you on SCC. Secondly, I have done what I can to educate you about Virginia political issues. Even before I was first elected, I began writing a weekly newsletter for that purpose. The first one posted on March 16, 2016.
Think about the responsibility of preparing a cogent, intelligent, educational, helpful article of approximately 800 words every week for six years. Some weeks I’ve had several topics from which to choose. Other weeks, I had no idea what my topic would be until just hours before my article was due. At times that weekly deadline just weighed on me. I don’t think people understood how important their encouragement was to me when they mentioned that they liked an article or even that they read my articles every week. That encouragement kept me going.
I have never made a cent for any of my articles no matter whether they came out in a newsletter or in a rewritten form for the Waynesboro News Virginian or in The Bull Elephant. I kept writing because I made the commitment to the Republicans of the Sixth District that I would do so for the sake of keeping you informed. Now that my term is (prematurely) ended, I can say that I have fulfilled that commitment I made six years ago. I’m going to take a little time off from writing newsletters. Maybe I will pick it up again if I see the need. But in any event, thank you for your support and encouragement. It has been a wild and wonderful trip.
Steve “Doc” Troxel, Ph.D.