RICHMOND — Opportunity arose in December for Del. Chris Head, R-Botetourt, when he said he saw the state’s new electoral maps, spurring him to recently announce a run for Virginia Senate in 2023.
Head’s announcement late last week marks the first legislative shakeup caused by court-drawn redistricting results from 2021.
“The lines are all very different than they were,” Head said on Monday. “This just feels like the right thing for me to do next.”
Serving his 11th term this year in the Virginia House of Delegates, Head said he will run in 2023 to represent the newly drawn Senate District 3, which was created in December during Virginia’s decennial redistricting process.
“I’ve been here for for a decade,” Head said. “I have been a consistent voice for conservative values, and now I’ll continue to champion all of those things in this process.”
The court-drawn Senate District 3 includes northernmost reaches of Roanoke County, all of Botetourt, Craig, Alleghany and Rockbridge counties, stretching northward to Staunton and Waynesboro and some of surrounding Augusta County.
“You’ve got a strong emphasis on the arts in certain sections. You’ve got higher education, you’ve got farms and factories,” Head said. “It’s a really wonderful cross section… of what Virginia has always been.”
Redrawn electoral maps put Head in the same House district as 10-term incumbent Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt. Meanwhile, there are no sitting senators living in the freshly minted Senate District 3, whose voters will elect their representative in November 2023.
“Part of the reason for the announcement being as early as it was, is to be able to let everybody know,” Head said. “This will give me the opportunity to let voters know what I’m doing in my role as a delegate.”
Head, who has served in the House of Delegates since 2012 and was reelected in 2021, said he will finish out his two-year House term “with the same zeal and vigor” as ever, while getting acquainted with people of the new Senate district he hopes to represent.
“I am committed to faithfully serving the people,” Head said. “It’s just that the next election cycle, we’ll be running for something different.”
Nearby in Virginia politics, other incumbent legislators whose districts overlap for now remain unannounced on future election plans:
Sens. John Edwards, D-Roanoke, and David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke County, both now live in the new Senate District 4.
Sens. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, and Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, both reside in the new Senate District 8.
Dels. Marie March, R-Floyd, and Wren Williams, R-Patrick, are grouped together in the new House District 47, while two neighboring House districts, 39 and 41, have no incumbents living within their boundaries.