ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP)- The chief architect of a Republican legislative redistricting plan says race was just one of many factors used to redraw boundaries in Virginia's House of Delegates.
Delegate Chris Jones of Suffolk testified Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria. The GOP-controlled House of Delegates is defending itself in a lawsuit that alleges the 2011 redistricting unconstitutionally packed black voters into 12 legislative districts.
The lawsuit claims that packing black voters into those districts limited their influence in the rest of the state.
Jones acknowledged taking racial composition into account, but said he was also trying to protect incumbents and comply with the federal Voting Rights Act.
The plaintiffs allege that race was the overriding goal of Jones' plan and therefore illegal.