Fimian Ponders Third Challenge to Connolly

Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:35pm

Virginia Republican Keith Fimian said Thursday he will run against Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) for a third straight election unless a rumored incumbent-protection redistricting map is approved by the state Legislature.

“If it redistricts well, which I never thought it would, I will run again,” Fimian told Roll Call. “But I’m not going to run in an uncompetitive seat.”

Fimian said a map designed to protect those currently in office is what “any self-centered politician would want” and that incumbents are more concerned about being re-elected than the fiscal health of the country. With Congress still unable to pass a budget, Fimian said Congress needs Members who are willing to make serious cuts in government spending.

“Everything I’ve criticized Connolly for is more true today than it was last year,” he said.

Connolly won the open 11th district seat against Fimian by 12 points in 2008 following the retirement of moderate Republican Rep. Tom Davis. President Barack Obama won the district that year with 57 percent of the vote.

The 2010 margin was only 981 votes, however, and the race was not decided until a week after the election. Fimian conceded rather than seek a recount.

The Legislature is convening a special session next month to approve maps for Congressional and state legislative districts. A Republican-controlled House, Democratic-controlled Senate and a Republican governor all must approve the new maps.