State Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. The region is considered a swing district and Republicans nationally expect to do well in the 2022 midterm congressional elections. The nominee will likely challenge incumbent Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), who has warned her party about the risks to moderates caused by progressive messaging and policy.
“Under President Trump our economy was humming, people were working, and government did not dominate or intrude in our lives and livelihood. But under Joe Biden and Abigail Spanberger, an intrusive, progressive government is failing us, badly. Spanberger has failed to make the Seventh District what it should be – the best place to work, live, and raise a family,” Reeves said in a Friday press release.
Based on population shifts reflected in 2020 Census Data, southwestern Virginia is likely to lose a House of Delegates district, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. On top of that, HB 1255, a 2020 bill passed by the General Assembly now requires incarcerated people to be counted at the address where they were living prior to their incarceration. That’s a problem for some districts with a significant number of prisons, including Senate District 38, where Senator Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell) was recently elected. Hackworth is part of a group of Southwestern Virginians suing the Virginia Redistricting Commission, the State Board of Elections, and the Virginia Department of Elections to block the change in where incarcerated people are counted.
“Virginia prisons are typically located in rural districts with greater Republican voting strength, particularly in the Southside and Southwest regions of the Commonwealth in which Petitioners are voting permanent residents (and, in Petitioner Hackworth’s case, an elected state senator,)” court documents state, noting that incarcerated people do use local infrastructure.
The U.S. Census Bureau released 2020 census data on Friday, but on Monday, the Virginia Redistricting Commission voted 14-1 with one abstention to consider August 26 the date of receipt of census bureau data. That’s due to Census Bureau delays that led to the data being released in an older format that will take vendors two weeks to process.
“This situation is very different from, I think, probably any other redistricting effort that has been done since long before World War II,” Senator George Barker (D-Fairfax) said, noting that law requires delivery of census data within a year of the census date.
Data from the 2020 census confirms a population shift that reflects “the decade’s broad population shifts: slow growth in the Northeast and Midwest, and gains in the South and some Western states.”
The last decade’s interstate migration shift also indicated that states with higher taxes and less opportunities for job growth lost residents to lower tax states with more job opportunities.
The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to President Donald Trump’s plan to not include illegal immigrants living in the U.S. in the count to determine congressional districts, Reuters reported Friday.
The court ruled 6-3 against a lawsuit attempting to block Trump’s plan to exclude illegal immigrants from the count, Reuters reported.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Trump administration can end census field operations early, batting aside a lawsuit that warned the truncated schedule will lead to minorities being undercounted in the crucial once-a-decade head count.
Still, the decision was not a total loss for the plaintiffs, who managed to get two extra weeks of counting people as the case challenging the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to end the census in September made its way through the courts.
A judge ruled Thursday night that 2020 Census counting can continue through October 31.
The ruling was issued by California district judge Lucy H. Koh against the Trump administration, which sought to stop counting after Sept. 30, a month before its previously scheduled completion.
The city of Richmond’s 2020 census response rate is 59.3 percent, lower than the Virginia and national average, which could result in lost federal funding at state and local levels.
The deadline for census counting is September 30th, moved up a month by President Trump, and Richmond is falling behind not just nationally, but also compared to the surrounding central-Virginia counties.