Republican Sen. Bill Stanley Appointed to Redistricting Commission
Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, has been named to the Virginia Redistricting Commission, replacing Sen. Steve Newman, R-Forest, who resigned suddenly on September 3. Stanley was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, taking his seat just as the commission begins two intense months of hearings and meetings to prepare new legislative and congressional maps that reflect the results of the 2020 Census.
Stanley introduced himself at the commission’s September 9 meeting, after Republican Co-chair Mackenzie Babichenko joked about whether she and Greta Harris, the Democratic co-chair, had “scared Newman away.” Stanley said in replacing Newman, he had “big shoes to fill,” but that he was exceptionally excited about “this citizen-driven commission” and that he hoped to join the members in creating “fair maps and good maps.”
Stanley described how his district, the 22nd, covered portions of several counties and cities around Martinsville, and then said, “Thanks Sen. Barker,” a nod to Sen. George Barker, D-Fairfax, a fellow commission member who was chiefly responsible for drawing the Senate districts in the 2011 round of redistricting, when Democrats controlled that chamber. Stanley observed that when Barker drew his district initially, it had included two precincts in North Carolina.
The choice of Stanley helps address some concerns that had been raised about the geographic diversity of the commission after Marvin Gilliam, a Republican citizen member from Bristol, resigned his seat in July. Stanley represents an area that was farther to the west and south of Newman’s around Lynchburg. In the Senate, Stanley serves on the Judiciary and Local Government committees, among others.
–Sara Fitzgerald, LWV-Falls Church