Chris Head

RICHMOND – Del. Chris Head, R-Botetourt County, is seeking the Republican nomination to run in the newly created 3rd Senate district, which currently has no representation. 

A native of Commerce, Ga., who moved to Virginia in the 1980s, Head has represented Virginia’s 17th House of Delegates district since 2021 after defeating Democrat Freeda Cathcart. He currently serves on the Commerce and Energy, Privileges and Elections, Health, Welfare and Institutions and the Rules committees. 

Head said in an interview Friday that he first considered running for the state Senate after he found himself drawn into the same House district as Del. Terry Austin, R-Botetourt County, based on the new maps approved by the Virginia Supreme Court in December. 

 “I didn’t think it was a good idea to go against each other,” he said of his Republican colleague. “Redistricting has changed the landscape of everything, and an open seat is something that doesn’t happen very often.”

Making his bid for the 3rd Senate district seemed “the best logical next step” for him, Head said. “This district encompasses my current House district as well as some very compatible situated areas in the northern Valley all the way up to Waynesboro.” 

Head said that once the new district maps had been approved, he did a lot of soul searching and had several conversations with his family, a variety of constituents and fellow lawmakers. “Most everybody kept saying ‘you are the one who should do this,’ so I decided that this would be the time,” he said.

While the next state Senate elections are set for Nov. 7, 2023, allowing Head much time to build his campaign, he is aware that he might be facing a primary challenger. “I haven’t heard of anyone yet, but it would be surprising if there wasn’t,” he said.

In the meantime, Head said he will begin to travel around the new district. “We still have a long way to go, but there are a lot of people to meet,” he said. 

The new 3rd Senate district has no incumbent.

Markus Schmidt

Markus Schmidt is a reporter for Cardinal News. Reach him at markus@cardinalnews.org.