RICHMOND — Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin, will join Virginia's redistricting commission immediately, filling a vacancy that left the commission short just weeks before a key deadline.
Franklin will replace Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, who withdrew from the commission suddenly last Friday.
"Given the newly published Commission meeting schedule and my ongoing professional obligations, I regret that I can no longer serve on this body," Newman said Friday on social media.
Stanley, a lawyer, was first elected to his Senate seat in 2011.
The newly formed Virginia Redistricting Commission is the product of a constitutional amendment that reworked the way Virginia adjusts its political maps following the decennial census. The commission is made up of eight lawmakers and eight citizens.
The commission has just 32 more days to draft and agree on maps for the state legislature, and 47 days to do the same for the state's congressional seats.
The week before Newman's departure, the commission hit a different snag when one of its members — whose name has not been disclosed — tested positive for COVID-19, delaying a key meeting.