It’s official — Quayle won’t run again

Published 10:37 pm Monday, June 6, 2011

Nearly 20 years of service in the state Senate will come to an end for Sen. Fred Quayle this year.

Sen. Harry Blevins is expected to announce in a press conference today that he will run for re-election in the 14th District. That district now includes Quayle’s house after the redistricting process moved his district to northern Virginia.

“I’m getting used to it,” Quayle said of the idea of not running. “I’m a little disappointed it worked out that way, but it’s all right. Twenty years is long enough.”

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Quayle said early in the process that he wouldn’t challenge Blevins if it came to that.

Hampton Roads lost the seat after astronomical population growth in the northern part of the state. Even though Suffolk’s population grew by about 32.8 percent in the last decade, the rest of Hampton Roads didn’t keep up.

The plan that sacrificed Quayle’s seat was conceived after Gov. Robert F. McDonnell vetoed an original plan that moved a Virginia Beach district instead. McDonnell said the first plan amounted to “partisan gerrymandering” and lacked bipartisan support.

Quayle is familiar with the unexpected nature of redistricting. It was the same process following the 1990 census that put him in a district he thought he could win.

“It stayed that way for 20 years,” he said. “The center of the district [now] has moved back towards Chesapeake.”

Quayle said the change is “unfortunate” for Suffolk, as there will now be four different senators — none of whom lives in Suffolk — representing portions of Suffolk.

Under the new plan, Blevins’ district encompasses a giant portion of Suffolk that includes the precincts of Cypress Chapel, Whaleyville, Airport, Holy Neck, Holland, Kilby’s Mill, Lakeside and Lake Cohoon, as well as parts of King’s Fork and Elephant’s Fork.

Sen. Louise Lucas’ new district includes the precincts of White Marsh, Southside, Hollywood, Olde Towne, John F. Kennedy, Nansemond River, Chuckatuck, Yeates, Bennett’s Creek and most of King’s Fork.

Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr. now represents the Driver and Ebenezer precincts. As for Sen. John C. Miller, his district includes only the Harbour View precinct in Suffolk.

But Quayle said he will continue serving Suffolk from the sidelines of the Senate.

“As long as I’m around, I’ll keep their noses to the grindstone,” Quayle said of the senators still representing Suffolk.