Chris Head (R-Botetourt) has been representing portions of Roanoke City and the Counties of Roanoke and Botetourt in the House of Delegates for several terms. However, redistricting following the 2020 census scrambled most of the lines beyond recognition and created many all-new districts.
Due to that redistricting, Head found himself in the same House district as another GOP incumbent: Terry Austin, also of Botetourt. Unwilling to go head-to-head with a fellow Republican in a primary but also unwilling to leave public service, Head became aware of a new opportunity. Head’s residence was in the newly-created State Senate District 3, and he has won the GOP nomination to be on the ballot in November. Since no current state senator lives in this district, it has no incumbent and is thus an “open” seat, thus making Head’s entry easier.
The new District 3, which has been labeled “heavily Republican,” includes Vinton and Bonsack in eastern Roanoke County, Hollins and Catawba, Craig County up to the West Virginia line, and up the Shenandoah Valley to Staunton and Waynesboro. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) profile of this new district can be seen here. The district is 85.4% white. As reported by VPAP, Head currently has raised $167,057 while his opponent, political neophyte Jade Harris (D), has raised $5,322.
Head’s recent announcement about his nomination and big endorsements is below:
“Governor Glenn Youngkin released a list of 19 General Assembly Endorsements including Delegate Chris Head, who is the Republican nominee for Virginia’s Third Senate District. In addition to the Governor’s endorsement, Delegate Head has received endorsements from Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares. Delegate Head became the Republican nominee after fending off any primary challengers and he is the clear favorite to be elected in this strongly Republican district come November.
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of Governor Youngkin,” said Delegate Head. “We
are fortunate to have a Governor who employs a business-minded approach to running
our Commonwealth efficiently and effectively. It has been a privilege to work alongside
Governor Youngkin, Lt. Gov. Sears, and Attorney General Miyares to cut taxes, restore law
and order, and fight against radical policies that seek to infringe upon our rights. In the
Senate, I will continue standing up for our traditional, conservative values and giving
western Virginia a strong, passionate voice in Richmond.”
In contrast to District 3, which is predicted to be an easy GOP win, the neighboring District 4 is seen as highly competitive, since it includes the Democrat stronghold of Roanoke City. In that race, incumbent David Suetterlein (R) will face the winner of the June Democrat primary.
Since the current Virginia Senate is 22 Democrats to 18 Republicans, the outcome of the District 4 race may help determine control of the Senate for the next four years.
Early voting begins in September and Election Day is November 7.