RICHMOND, Va. — A congressional redistricting proposal from the office of Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, passed a House subcommittee on Monday. The proposal, which redraws Virginia’s 7th Congressional District lines to include just Brat’s house, will be moving to a special vote early next week.
“In the interest of best representing my constituents, we felt it best to redraw the map,” commented Brat, “Also, since I am the only constituent that I listen to, I just felt like it was the right choice.”
Virginia is currently embroiled in heavy debate over congressional redistricting with an emphasis on gerrymandering, which is the act of redrawing lines to favor a particular party. Several cases challenging 2010 redistricting efforts are pending in the Virginia court system. “Statistically speaking, anybody who lives in that house will really benefit politically from this measure,” commented political strategist James McFerguson of the Randall Institute, a conservative think tank. “Our models suggests we’d see a boost in voter turnout from that single half-acre of land.”
A surge in grassroots campaigning led by OneVirginia2021, a civic nonprofit organization which advocates for redistricting reform, has boosted public awareness on the issue. A OneVirginia2021 spokesperson responded quickly to the news of Brat’s proposal: “We’re extremely disappointed in this measure as it pertains to redistricting and gerrymandering. However, after polling Brat’s own family we are confident that at least half the voters disapprove of his performance, so we anticipate a contested race nonetheless.”
Brat himself has been the subject of vocal opposition from some constituents following President Donald Trump’s victory in November. Many voters have voiced strong disapproval on social media, calling for both a town hall and increased access and transparency.
“We were told future town halls would only be open to direct constituents so we assume that includes just his family and their pets,” commented current constituent Delia Morgan. “That’s not much different than who’s allowed to attend now, so we’ll work around it.”
Despite any potential backlash from the public, the proposal is expected to pass along party lines next week. “These new district lines are part of my broader strategy to work towards a better community,” stated Brat. “And to keep women out of my grill.”