Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) will run in Virginia’s 2nd district rather than his own 4th district this fall, he announced Monday.
A new congressional map imposed on Virginia by a federal court has made Forbes’s current seat, which stretches from central to southeast Virginia, significantly more African American and Democratic. Rigell’s neighboring coastal district became slightly more Republicans.
“Two liberal judges and a California law professor may have the power to redraw Virginia congressional lines, but they cannot rewrite who I am and what I fight for,” Forbes said in a statement. “I believe voters choose leaders based on their priorities, not their Zip code.”
Rep. Scott Rigell (R), who currently represents the 2nd district, is retiring this fall and has encouraged Forbes to run for his seat.
Republicans in the state have appealed the federal ruling to the Supreme Court. However, their attempts to delay the implementation of the new map until after the 2016 election have failed.
The new map was drawn in response to a ruling by a three-judge panel that when drawing the current lines in 2012, Virginia Republicans illegally packed African American voters into one district.
State Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) has said he would be interested in running for the district currently represented by Forbes.