The General Assembly drew new maps this summer to bring the 140 districts of the Senate and GOP-held House of Delegates into alignment with population shifts listed in the 2010 Census. The plans give Northern Virginia a new senator and three new delegates, all in the Washington region’s growing outer suburbs.
Bolling said Republicans are targeting about a dozen races across the state, and that half of those are considered top tier. They include a pair of new Senate seats drawn because of once-a-decade redistricting — one in Northern Virginia and the other west of Richmond — as well as existing seats in Southside, Southwest and Hampton Roads.
He said that the Republican candidates are diverse, both moderate and conservative, and some of them, including Black and Frederick, have already won elections in similar districts in Northern Virginia.
“What they want to do is paint one or two candidates as part of a broad brush,’’ Bolling said.
Tom Garrett, Louisa County’s commonwealth’s attorney, who is running in the new Senate district west of Richmond against Democrat Bert Dodson, called himself a “Cuccinelli conservative” even before receiving the sole primary endorsement from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a tea party favorite.
Garrett has proposed mandatory drug testing for all welfare recipients and has advocated abolishing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, which is charged with keeping air and water clean.
Ben Loyola, a businessman and veteran who is running against freshman Democrat Ralph Northam in Norfolk, has said he wants to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and eliminate corporate taxes and the income tax.
Del. Bill Carrico of Grayson, who is running against Democrat John Lamie in the race to replace retiring William Wampler in southwest Virginia, introduced a bill permitting prayer on public property, including schools.
Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (Arlington), who chairs her chamber’s Democratic caucus, said candidates who are “conservative and outside the mainstream” will have a tough time in Virginia.