Transportation Funding Uncertian with Colgan’s Departure
– July 1, 2014 8:00 am
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – The balance of power and influence in Richmond’s General Assembly could shift away from Prince William County.
President pro-tempore of the Virginia Senate Charles Colgan, D-Va. 29, Manassas, Prince William, will told the Gainesville Times he’ll retire at the end of next year, what will be his 40th year in the senate. The 87-year-old said he won’t run for office again.
“The challenge for the rest of us is to fill some very big shoes for a man who is not very tall,” said Sen. George Barker, D-39th – Fairfax, Prince William.
During his “highly effective” career, Barker says Colgan made strides in Prince William by winning transportation funding for major congestion-relief projects. Colgan continually points to the interchange at Prince William Parkway (Va. 234) and Va. 28 in Manassas as a big transportation funding win for the county.
Serving on the appropriations committee, Colgan has also been credited with bringing funding for Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) which has two campuses in the county (one of the buildings at NOVA’s Manassas Campus is named after him) and funding the Prince William Campus of George Mason University.
Corey Stewart, the Chairman of Prince William County’s Board of Supervisors, lives in the 29th District and has long been rumored to run to replace Colgan. He told PotomacLocal.com he won’t seek the Senate seat when Colgan leaves, opting instead to remain in Northern Virginia to run his law practice.
Stewart does take issue with the way State Senate districts are currently drawn, as Prince William has five different State Senators who represent the county.
“We were carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey with the redistricting of 2o10, and as a result Prince William County, together with the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, is approaching a half-million people and we should have two-and-half senate seats, said Stewart.
The redistricting process occurs every 10 years with new political districts slated to be drawn in 2020, the political districts changing with the growth of population in the state.
Virginia House Majority Whip Delegate Jackson Miller, R-50th, Manassas, disagrees, and said five State Senators can be a good thing. “It work both ways. Instead of having two senators in Prince William we have more, and all want to represent their districts the best they can,” said Miller.