Remember the 38th!

T. Travis Hackworth

Congratulations to the citizens of the 38th state senatorial district — you have been re-enfranchised. Republican T. Travis Hackworth handily won the special election to replace former Sen. Ben Chafin, who died in January, garnering 76% of the vote.

Better late than never, I suppose. But due to Governor Ralph Northam’s failure (or refusal) to schedule a special election immediately after Chafin’s death, Hackworth was not instated until after the 2021 General Assembly session, one of the most consequential of recent legislatures in years. Hacksworth’s absence gave Democrats a 21 to 18 margin in the Senate instead of a 20 to 19 margin, meaning that it took two middle-of-the-road Democrats to side with Republicans instead of one to block the Northam administration’s left-wing agenda.

The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) ought to do one of its patented data visuals showing how many bills passed in the 2021 session thanks to one-vote margins. Only then would we get a feel for the practical real-world impact of the  disenfranchisement of more than 200,000 (overwhelmingly Republican) citizens.

The 38th state senatorial district. Credit: VPAP

Remember the 38th the next time you see Democrats and commentators crying crocodile tears about “voter suppression.”


Update: I am mortified to admit that the original version of this story mistakenly referred to Hacksworth’s district as the 28th senatorial district, not the 38th. Thanks the reader who brought the error to my attention.