As final redistricting suit is tossed, Douglass nears announcement - The Daily Progress: News

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As final redistricting suit is tossed, Douglass nears announcement

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Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:08 pm | Updated: 11:01 am, Wed Jan 23, 2013.

After legal challenges to Virginia’s congressional redistricting plan failed Monday, retired Brig. Gen. John Douglass promised a “major announcement” about his campaign in early March, a signal that he’ll switch his run to the 5th District.

Douglass, a Democrat who retired from the Air Force in 1992 and went on to post-military work on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon, is considering refiling his candidacy after his Fauquier County farm was redistricted into the newly expanded district held by Rep. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham.

Douglass announced last year that he would challenge Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Alexandria, in Northern Virginia’s 10th District, but now that the new districts appear solid, a switch appears imminent.

A news release put out by the Douglass campaign Tuesday referenced recent court action and scheduled a formal announcement for March 6.

“Before making the announcement, [Douglass] will be traveling through counties in Virginia's 5th Congressional District to discuss his campaign to help more Virginia families get a fair chance at a better future,” the release said.

According to the attorney general’s office, a Richmond Circuit Court judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by six Virginia residents that urged the court to draw Virginia’s new congressional districts for this fall’s elections.

The suit argued that the legislature had failed to meet its constitutional responsibility when it did not pass a redistricting plan in 2011, the year after the census.

Last month the state Senate, now under GOP control, quickly passed a bill on new congressional districts and Gov. Bob McDonnell signed the legislation.

“Now that the challenges to the General Assembly’s power to draw new congressional lines have all been dismissed, we will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain pre-clearance of the lines under the Voting Rights Act so that the congressional primaries and the general elections can occur with as little confusion and disruption as possible,” Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement.

Douglass will be the second Democrat running in the 5th District. Last month, Peyton R. Williams Jr., a retired military officer from Charlottesville, announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for Hurt’s seat.

The Democratic nomination will be decided on May 19 with a convention in Nelson County.