If it’s Friday, it must be…
|Flip-A-District Friday: Volume XIII
Congressman Bobby Scott, the senior member of Virginia’s congressional delegation, was re-elected in 2014 to a twelfth term serving the citizens of Virginia’s third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to serving in Congress, Bobby served 15 years in the Virginia General Assembly where he focused his legislative efforts on creating jobs, increasing access to affordable healthcare, improving education and economic opportunities, promoting evidence-based crime prevention strategies and enhancing consumer protections. Bobby’s legislative successes in the General Assembly included raising Virginia’s minimum wage, enhancing opportunities for Virginia’s families, and establishing the Governor’s Employment and Training Council.
In November 1992 Bobby was elected to represent Virginia’s third congressional district. Bobby made history by becoming the first African-American elected to Congress from Virginia since the Reconstruction Era. Because his maternal grandfather immigrated from the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, Bobby also has the distinction of being the first voting member of Congress with Filipino ancestry.
Because of his penchant for working long hours in the Capitol and consistently barnstorming the third district to make himself available to everyone he represents, Bobby was recognized as one of the 25 hardest working Members of Congress byThe Hill newspaper in 2010.
The son of a doctor and a public school teacher, Bobby grew up in the southeast community of Newport News and has devoted his life and career in service to his community. He attended Harvard College and received his law degree from Boston College. During and immediately after law school, he served in the National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve. After passing the Virginia bar exam, Bobby returned home to Newport News to practice law. To ensure representation of those unable to afford an attorney, Bobby founded the Peninsula Legal Aid Center. He also served as one of the youngest branch presidents of the Newport News NAACP. Bobby is an active member of many community organizations and is a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in southeast Newport News.
Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District includes all of Franklin, Newport News, and Portsmouth, parts of the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Norfolk, and Suffolk, and all of the County of Isle of Wight.
The 3rd currently has a Cook Political Report rating of D+16 and is ranked as“solidly Democratic.” The district is more blueish-purple now, though, than it was before its court-ordered redistricting in 2016. The 3rd District’s lines were the focus of Wittman v. Personhuballah, the Supreme Court case concerning the packing of African-American voters into the 3rd District after the Republican-led state legislature redrew electoral maps in 2012. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, meaning that a prior ruling siding with the Democrats stood, and the lines in Virginia had to be reworked.
Before the boundaries were redrawn, the district was far more Democratic-leaning – in 2012, for example, Congressman Scott won 81 percent of the vote, versus 67 percent four years later (after redistricting). Click here to read a great history by the Virginia Public Access Program of the district and its shifting boundaries.
Why Bobby Scott must win:
There is currently no challenger to Congressman Scott in the 3rd District. But Republicans in the 3rd District will not just sit an election out because there isn’t a candidate on the House level – there is a Senate seat up this year in Virginia after all. Congressman Scott’s race is exactly the type that Democrats must turn out in if we hope to win back the House, and especially if we want to take the Senate.
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This concludes Volume XIII of our 2018 Flip-a-District Friday series. Stay tuned for weekly updates as we track the key races in Virginia that will determine the balance of power in Congress.