Once a decade following the census, the Virginia Legislature has an opportunity to redistrict congressional and state legislative districts. A redistricting law has not yet been signed into law by the governor, but its outlines are looking clearer.
The photograph (click for more detail) shows the effect locally. Currently Oak Hill residents are caught between three legislative districts: 8th (Jim Moran – D), 11th (Jerry Connolly – D) and 10th (Frank Wolf -R), outlined in red. The likely new congressional districts (outlined in green) show some interesting changes.
For example, Herndon up to the Loudoun County line will become part of the 11th Congressional District. This will mean, assuming the incumbents are reelected, that Herndon residents will become part of Jerry Connolly’s district, and Jim Moran’s 8th district will recede largely to an inside the beltway district. The northern part of Oak Hill, anything inside Fairfax County and north of Horsepen Run will likely be part of the newly redrawn 11th district. Everything below it will be in Frank Wolf’s 10th district, and the district will absorb the Vale and Waples Mill areas of Oak Hill as well, currently represented by Jerry Connolly.
It doesn’t take much analysis to see that the districts are being drawn to be likely more partisan. The more upscale areas of Oak Hill are in the Vale and Waples Mill areas, presumably more friendly Republic territory. Herndon, with its growing Hispanic population, is presumed to be more Democratic leaning. The north part of Oak Hill consists of more multi-family housing and is more “new urban”-like, similar to Reston, and thus likely more Democratic. Redistricting recognizes the kinds of growth that have occurred in the last ten years and the partisan leanings of each kind of growth.
You can browse redistricting maps here. You will need to install a Microsoft Silverlight browser plug in.