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Newly-formed General Assembly district in Roanoke Valley could impact future of state politics

The fate of Virginia’s General Assembly will be decided this November with all 160 seats up for grabs.

Many of these seats are for newly formed districts in the House of Delegates and State Senate after district maps were redrawn by an independent commission following the 2020 census.

The goal was for the lines to be drawn without bias to any party.

“This is the biggest redistricting we’ve had in half a century here in Virginia,” said Hollins University Political Science Professor and 10 News Political Analyst, Dr. Ed Lynch.

Currently, the General Assembly is split, with the House controlled by Republicans and the Senate controlled by Democrats.

Lynch said the districts that could determine which way the House and Senate lean are right here in the Roanoke Valley.

“Where every seat counts, every Senate seat and every House of Delegate seat, voters in the Roanoke Valley will have an outsized voice in what happens in Richmond in the next two years,” he said.

“We have a key Senate race here, this is the fourth district. This is all of Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, and part of Montgomery County,” said Lynch.

State Senate District four was previously known as District 19, which also included parts of Franklin and Wythe counties.

Vying for this spot are incumbent Republican David Suetterlein and Democrat Trish White-Boyd.

“We have the 41st House of Delegate district. That is also Roanoke County, Roanoke City, and in to Montgomery County. Both of those are in the area, both highly contested, and are brand new districts,” said Lynch.

Newly formed district 41 is made up of parts of former districts seven and eight.

Two new faces are fighting for this seat, Republican Chris Obenshain and Democrat, Lily Franklin.

“The majorities in the House of Delegates and the Senate are razor thin. A couple of races being won or lost could change the entire dynamic in Richmond,” said Lynch.


Source: WSLS News 10

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