The West Virginia Senate has adopted a resolution calling on Frederick County, Virginia to join West Virginia.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 extends an invitation for Frederick County to consider leaving the state of Virginia to become a part of West Virginia. Senators adopted the measure Monday on a voice vote.
The resolution’s sponsor, Sen. Charles Trump, R-Morgan, said the idea is rooted in history that predates West Virginia entering the union.
“I learned for the first time during West Virginia's 150th birthday celebration. As I read through some of the materials from the records -- from the convention in 1862 that — there was an expressed invitation to Frederick County,” Trump said. “I confess that before that I didn't know it — and it's been in the back of my mind for a number of years.”
The resolution states: “Although the citizens of the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson...voted to join the new state, the citizens of Frederick County have not yet done so.”
Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017 put Frederick County’s population at more than 86,000.
With West Virginia projected to lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives following the 2020 Census, Trump noted that adding Frederick County could stave off the loss of congressional representation. But, for him, the motivation for the resolution is based more on history and similarities between Frederick County and neighboring West Virginia counties.
“The main motivation was, actually, to bring people's attention to the history, which I think is fascinating. I didn't know — but in Wheeling in 1862, it was clearly contemplated that, ‘Hey, Frederick County should be perhaps one of the counties that formed the new state of West Virginia,'" Trump said "That, plus just our common affinity, affection for the people and institutions of Frederick County, Virginia.”
As part of the resolution, the Clerk of the West Virginia Senate would forward a copy of the request to the Frederick County Board of Supervisors. The House of Delegates is now set to consider the proposal.
Officials from Frederick County did not immediately respond to a request for comment.