A three-judge panel in Richmond on Thursday imposed a new Virginia congressional map that could give blacks a chance to elect candidates of their choice in two districts, not just one. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court halts implementation, the reconfiguration will lower the black voting age population in the 3rd District, represented by Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, a Democrat, from 56.3 percent to 45.3 percent. It will raise the black voting age population in the 4th District, represented by Rep. J. Randy Forbes, a Republican, from 31.3 percent to 40.9 percent. Scott’s district, which meandered from the Richmond area to Newport News, will now be centered in Hampton Roads.
Richmond and Petersburg move into Forbes’ 4th District, changing its politics significantly. In the 4th’s previous configuration, President Barack Obama received 48.8 percent of the vote in 2012. The president received 60.9 percent of the vote in the new 4th District the judges imposed.
State Sen. A. Donald McEachin, D-Henrico, has said he would consider running in a newly configured 4th District. “Over the past few hours, numerous people have reached out asking me to run for Congress in the new 4th Congressional District,” McEachin said in a statement Thursday.
“While I’m incredibly honored by the confidence these folks have shown in me, right now I am focused on the coming session of the General Assembly.” He added: “There will be a time and place to discuss federal offices.”