Facing a redrawn 4th District much friendlier to Democrats, Virginia Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes has decided to run for the 2nd District, currently held by retiring Rep. Scott Rigell .
Forbes, chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, made national security the focus of his Monday announcement streamed live on his Facebook page , arguing that his place on the committee is good for Virginia and the military.
"And it's true that I hold a gavel in my hand," Forbes said, holding up an invisible gavel. "But that's not nearly as important as holding this pen in my hand," he continued, pulling a pen out of his shirt pocket. "And one of the things that we'll be talking about for the next several months is a decision not about my future, but about our future — and whether or not we want to take that pen out of the hand of a Virginian and give it to somebody in Florida or Texas or California," he said.
Rigell encouraged his colleague to seek his seat and introduced Forbes in his live announcement at Forbes' 2nd District headquarters.
"He's the kind of person I want to entrust that voting card to," Rigell said, touting Forbes' respect on both sides of the aisle and his work on behalf of the military. "I truly believe he's one of the 10 most influential people in Washington on the direction that our Marine Corps and our Navy go."
Rigell's retirement led the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call to change the rating of the 2nd District , which Court-mandated redistricting has rendered slightly more Republican , from Safe Republican to Lean Republican. Compare the old and new Virginia maps below.
State Del. Scott Taylor and attorney Pat Cardwell are already in the race for the GOP nomination. Forbes ended the final quarter of 2015 with $754,000 in the bank.
Several Democrats have already expressed interest in the now-open 4th District seat, which the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rated Safe Democrat after the new congressional map was released.
Virginia's GOP congressional delegation has appealed the lower court's ruling invalidating the old congressional map to the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on March 21.
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