The November 2020 elections were only five months ago, and people in West Virginia are already declaring their candidacies for the November 2022 elections. This is great news for our Republic, as government of the people, by the people, and for the people can only endure if Americans run, give, volunteer, and vote.
The 2022 elections will be different from usual for two big reasons:
- Due to a population decrease, West Virginia is expected to lose a seat in Congress. The WV State Legislature will redraw the maps, changing three Congressional districts into two.
- The West Virginia legislature itself will be changing. Currently we have 67 districts in the House of Delegates, several of which are multimember. As stated by the House leadership, the intention is to make 100 single member house districts.
These changes cannot be made until the US Census data is released in Sept 2021. Once we have the official results, the Legislature will go into a special session, lasting from September into October 2021. The House of Delegates will draw the House districts. The Senate will draw new Senate districts based on population changes, but the number should remain at 17 dual member districts. Both houses must approve and the governor must sign all redistricting.
Since the boundaries will likely change, a potential candidate won’t know which district to run in until early November 2021. West Virginia law requires candidates for legislature to have lived in their district for at least one year. Candidates may file to run before or after the lines change.
We are blessed to have a conservative supermajority in both houses of our legislature. I look forward to working with the Republican House and Senate caucuses to expand their majorities in 2022.
Mark D. Harris
Chairman, WV Republican Party