Republicans took advantage of the absence of a Democratic state senator (and civil rights leader) to push their surprise legislative redistricting through what is usually an evenly divided state Senate. State Sen. Henry Marsh's (D) trip to the inauguration of President Obama briefly made the Senate makeup 20-19 in favor of the GOP, letting Republicans launch their surprise attack.
In a statement to TPM Monday night, McDonnell's office distanced itself from the move. The governor has put forward an ambitious legislative agenda for his final year in office, and Democrats say the state Senate GOP action Monday puts McDonnell's plans in jeopardy.
McDonnell appears to want none of the state Senate GOP move.
"I would prefer nothing else get in the way of those significant reforms," McDonnell said Tuesday, referring to his legislative agenda.
McDonnell has so far not said if he would veto the redistricting plan, which still must pass the state House. It is not clear if McDonnell has taken or will take other steps to undo the Senate GOP's surprise move.