Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s veto threat Tuesday of a court-ordered legislative redistricting plan drawn by state House Republicans once again illustrates the importance of this year’s governor elections.
The entire House of Delegates is on the Virginia ballot next year, when Republicans hope to hold their majorities in both chambers. But regardless of who controls the General Assembly, Northam’s presence ensures Democrats will have a strong say in how both the legislative and congressional district lines are drawn in 2021.
Just as the 2010 class of governors helped solidify the GOP House majority through three elections, the Democrats hope the 2018 elections give them a chance in the next decade.
There are 26 governor races this year in states where the winner will have a say in the next regularly scheduled round of congressional redistricting. Not all of them are competitive, but many of the most vulnerable seats are included: Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, and Wisconsin, to name a handful.
Veto power was utilized in February by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, whose rejection of the state Republican plan to redraw congressional lines led to a court-drawn map that provided Democrats several pickup opportunities in next month’s elections.
-- Kyle Trygstad