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Governor appoints redistricting panel

Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed today an 11-member bipartisan advisory commission on redistricting that includes a retired state judge and at least five attorneys, one of them a former federal district judge.

The panel will have an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, and Bob Holsworth, a former political science professor and founder of the nonpartisan website, VirginiaTommow.com, will be the chairman.

Redistricting is a legislative prerogative, and the General Assembly has a staff of its own to assist it in the process, but McDonnell said the commission will create and review proposed redistricting plans for the legislature.

The commission members are:

Holsworth, managing Partner of DecideSmart and founder of the non-partisan website, VirginiaTomorrow.com

Gary Baise, an environmental lawyer in the Washington office of Olsson Frank Weeda

Viola Baskerville, former member of Virginia House of Delegates and Secretary of Administration

Barry DuVal, president of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and a former mayor of Newport News and Secretary of Commerce and Trade

Jim Dyke, a partner at McGuireWoods LLP and former Secretary of Education and chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade

Jean Jensen, former secretary of the State Board of Elections and former executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia

Sam Johnston, former judge, 24th Judicial Circuit

Walt Kelley, a former federal judge in Norfolk and a partner in the Washington office of Jones Day

Sean O’Brien, executive director of the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier

Cameron Quinn, former secretary of the State Board of Elections

Ashley Taylor, a partner at, Troutman Sanders and a former commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Judy Ford Watson and Dr. Quentin Kidd of Christopher Newport University and Dr. Charles Dunn of Regent University will do staff work for the commission.

The governor’s press release is here.

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