Goldman files challenge to November House of Delegates elections
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 7/8/2021, 6 p.m.
Instead of being elected for two years, winners of the 100 Virginia House of Delegates seats in November would only get one year in office if Paul Goldman has his way.
On Tuesday, Mr. Goldman, a former chairman of the state Democratic Party, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Richmond arguing that the court should order another
election to be held in November 2022 after the state redistricts. Because of a U.S. Census Bureau delay in releasing population changes from the 10-year Census in 2020, the state is moving ahead this November with House of Delegates elections using the current districts.
A new redistricting commission is working to recommend a revision of House districts for General Assembly approval in the 2022 session that starts in January.
The state plans to allow delegates elected in November to serve their traditional two-year terms and implement the new districts for the 2023 elections.
However, Mr. Goldman claims that is wrong. In his filing, he cited the federal case of Cosner v. Dalton that stemmed from a 1981 problem Virginia had with redistricting that resulted in House elections for three years straight.
The court allowed the 1981 House election using the old districts due to time constraints, but ordered new House elections in 1982 when constitutionally revamped districts were to be in place. As result, the delegates also had to run again in 1983.
Mr. Goldman, who stated in the suit that he plans to run in the revamped 68th House District that now includes parts of Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield and represented by Democratic Delegate Dawn Adams, noted that his case boils down to whether “Cosner v. Dalton remains good law in Virginia.”