The City of Falls Church could be moved out of the 31st State Senate District, being vacated this fall by State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, and planted instead into the 32nd District represented by Sen. Janet Howell, according to some allegedly insider reports privy to the plans of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw. Independent Rosslyn blogger Benjamin Tribbet and Washington Post blogger Rosalind Heiderman floated this prospect today, although the official Democratic Senate redistricting plan is not due to be released until April 4. With Democrats in control of the Senate, they will get to call the shots on redistricting for that body, while the Republicans who control the House will get their way in redrawing House lines in the Richmond redistricting session next month.
Were Falls Church relocated into the 32nd, it would be part of a district including McLean, Tysons and west to Reston, losing all touch with Arlington, which would virtually exclusively dominate the 31st under this alleged plan. In current House lines, Falls Church has been historically cut off from Arlington, as well, and only retains that tie in the U.S. Congressional 8th District.
Local officials have yet to comment in this report. In the fallout since Whipple’s announcement she will not seek reelection earlier this month, Arlington Board member Barbara Favola has said she will run, and State Del. Bob Brink has said he won’t. In Falls Church, School Board member Patrick Riccards issued a statement saying he wouldn’t run if the City remained in the 31st District, and City Council member Robin Gardner said she’d been approached by interests about running.