Beyer: Comstock is top Democratic target in Virginia

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) speaks to a breakfast meeting sponsored by the Arlington County Democratic Committee on Jan. 6, 2018.

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) is not backing away from his support of the state constitutional amendment on political redistricting, despite opposition from a number of Democratic organizations across the state.

“I very strongly support it,” Beyer told delegates to the Arlington County Civic Federation in early September.

Beyer pointed to his eight years as lieutenant governor, saying that the most partisan contentiousness he saw in that time was when it came to drawing legislative districts, which long have been within the exclusive domain of the legislators themselves.

The measure to turn redistricting over to a panel that includes both legislators and the public was approved by General Assembly majorities in both 2019 and 2020, which resulted in its being placed on the Nov. 3 ballot. It is expected to win passage despite a split in the Democratic ranks.

Locally, Arlington’s three state senators – Democrats Barbara Favola, Adam Ebbin and Janet Howell – support the proposal, but the four delegates – Democrats Patrick Hope, Alfonso Lopez, Rip Sullivan and Mark Levine – oppose it. The Arlington County Democratic Committee in August voted to oppose the measure in the sample ballots it gives to voters at the polls.

Some Democratic opponents of the measure say it should be rejected, and the party will then craft a better alternative for passage later.

“I’m not willing to take that bet,” Beyer said.

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