Statement of OneVirginia2021 on Governor and Lieutenant Governor Races
October 26, 2017
This year’s elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor will determine who is in control of those offices during the 2021 redistricting process in Virginia. The governor will have a veto pen over gerrymandered maps that may pass the General Assembly and the power to appoint an advisory commission to prove, once again, that there are many better ways to redistrict Virginia than the hyper-gerrymandered way the legislature does today.
The Lieutenant Governor will preside over the Senate of Virginia during this critical time, as well. With a closely divided Senate, there are sure to be multiple, important, tie-breaking votes cast by that person. While there is strong support for reforming our gerrymandered process in the upper chamber, we are clear-eyed about how important every vote is in such a small body, and it is critical that our Lieutenant Governor is unequivocal about the need for redistricting reform.
One of our supporters testified before a House committee last January and said, “redistricting reform is not the issue I care about the most, but the issue I have to care about first.” Given the corrupting impact gerrymandering has on our political system – this is the most important issue of the day in Virginia. There are other important issues, but our government will continue to fail to represent Virginians if we do not end the practice of gerrymandering. This is a problem created by both Democrats and Republicans – and it will take both parties, along with Libertarians, Greens and other third parties, to solve this.
We have determined there are four candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor who believe sincerely that election districts belong to Virginians and not to any party or politician. Ralph Northam, Cliff Hyra, Jill Vogel, and Justin Fairfax have all pledged to support non-partisan redistricting reform. These candidates stand with over 70% of Virginians and our 62,000+ supporters who believe we have to fix our broken, gerrymandered system.
While we do not endorse political candidates, we wish to highlight the special leadership that both Dr. Ralph Northam and Jill Vogel have shown on this issue.
Dr. Northam has not only supported redistricting reform but has also pledged to veto any map from the General Assembly that does not come from a non-partisan commission. He also has pledged to appoint an advisory commission, much like Governor McDonnell did in 2011, to draw maps that serve all Virginians because they were made with communities in mind first, instead of the interests of politicians, and with the transparency we should expect in this process. If elected governor, Dr. Northam will put an end to gerrymandering in Virginia.
Senator Jill Vogel has been an outspoken and unwavering supporter of redistricting reform since she was elected in 2007. Vogel is a great example of someone putting their principles before politics – and she has been with us in this reform fight for years. Vogel has introduced legislation to form a non-partisan commission and reform the rules by which Virginia draws electoral districts to reflect the interests of Virginia voters instead of incumbent political needs. What’s more, in each of these instances, Vogel found a Democratic co-sponsor — including Senators Louise Lucas and Janet Howell. Senator Jill Vogel has been a longtime friend to the cause of redistricting reform, and her body of work on this issue deserves recognition and support.
With Northam, Hyra, Vogel and Fairfax, voters have many good choices for candidates who believe our election districts belong to Virginians – not to any political party or politician. We expect that if any of those four are elected that they will further this important cause.
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