Arlington Democrats Seek New House of Delegates Elections: The Arlington County Democratic Committee on April 6 joined a chorus of largely Democratic- and left-leaning groups urging a November 2022 special election for all 100 House of Delegates seats.
Under state law, elections held in November 2021 – in which Republicans won back control of the lower house of the legislature – were supposed to be run in districts reconfigured to reflect 2020 Census data. But those data arrived from the federal government too late to allow for boundaries to be redrawn, and elections were held in the districts that date to 2011.
A former Democratic Party of Virginia chair has sued in federal court in an effort to have new elections using the new districts ordered for this fall.
Democrats once were supremely optimistic that would occur, but hopes have faded in recent months.
The desire to hold new elections may be based on the belief that redistricting favors Democrats and might allow them to win back control of the body. But another take on the current situation suggests that, if Democrats are on their way to a national rout in congressional midterm elections this fall as some expect, the party actually could end up losing more seats in swing districts if an election is held.
Under House of Delegates districts approved by the Virginia Supreme Court, Arlington’s legislative delegation will decline from four to three and will see two current members of the delegation – Rip Sullivan and Elizabeth Bennett-Parker – drawn out of Arlington. Dels. Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez would be likely to remain in office in the new districts, while the third Arlington district currently has no incumbent occupying it.
State Senate elections are not scheduled until 2023, and that timetable would not be affected by a court ruling on the House races. Based on redistricting, Arlington’s three-member Senate contingent would drop from three to two, with Sen. Janet Howell being drawn out of the county. That leaves incumbents Barbara Favola and Adam Ebbin.