Virginia: Primaries Will Be Held as Scheduled

Posted March 15, 2012 at 12:17pm

The Department of Justice raised no objections to Virginia’s Congressional redistricting plan on Wednesday, ending a turbulent process and clearing the way for the state’s primaries to be held in June, as scheduled.

“Now that the lines are effective, the June congressional primaries can proceed on time and in an orderly fashion,” state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.

The state House unanimously passed an emergency bill in February that would have pushed back the primary date from June 12 to Aug. 7 if the DOJ did not approve the map by April 3.

Although the three Democratic Members of the delegation had input into the map, which gives Republicans a strong opportunity to hold their 8-3 delegation majority, state legislative Democrats pushed for a second minority-influenced district given Virginia’s 20 percent African-American population.

After Republicans gained total control of the General Assembly in November’s elections, the incumbent protection plan moved quickly through the legislative process and was signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) before the end of January. Two lawsuits, one each in federal and state courts, held up implementation of the map but the suits were both dismissed by the end of February.