The map still must receive preclearance from the Justice Department or a federal court to comply with the Voting Rights Act, and a lawsuit challenging the redistricting process still could throw a wrench in the gears.
The new map makes it more difficult for Democrats to increase their representation in the delegation, but Democratic strategists believe they can compete in at least two GOP-held districts. Rep. Scott Rigell’s (R) 2nd district is likely the most competitive.
While the plan protects Democratic incumbents, state legislative Democrats criticized the plan for packing African-Americans into Rep. Bobby Scott’s (D) 3rd district instead of creating a second minority-influenced district, which state Senate Democrats included in the plan that chamber passed last year. African-Americans account for one-fifth of the state’s population.
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Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.