After living in Rockbridge County for four decades, Rep. Ben Cline has moved to Botetourt County.
Cline, a Republican elected to Congress last year, in May purchased a house in Fincastle with his wife, Elizabeth Cline. She is an attorney at Moss & Rocovich based in Roanoke, and Ben Cline said they decided to move so she could be closer to work.
“I look forward to getting to know my new community,” Cline said Monday.
Cline, 47, was born in Oklahoma in 1972. When he was a boy, his family moved to Rockbridge County. His father, Philip Cline, taught at his alma mater, Washington and Lee University, for three decades. His father died in 2010.
Ben Cline’s mother still lives in Rockbridge County. Cline said his family continues to attend church at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lexington. Ben and Elizabeth Cline have two young daughters. The Clines still own their house in Rockbridge.
“Rockbridge will always be home,” Cline said.
Elizabeth Cline’s father, John Rocovich, established the law firm where his daughter practices law. Rocovich has been a longtime supporter of Virginia Republicans.
The 6th Congressional District stretches from Roanoke eastward to Lynchburg and north to Front Royal. With redistricting on the horizon, Cline said he did not consider the various ways in which the congressional map could be redrawn in Virginia when picking a new address.
There has been talk for years about whether parts of the Roanoke Valley from the 6th District will be added to the 9th Congressional District because far Southwest Virginia has been losing population.
Residing in Botetourt County likely keeps Cline safe from the possibility of being drawn into the 9th District, which is represented by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem. However, Virginia law does not require members of Congress reside in the district they represent.
“We were just looking for the right place for us,” Cline said. “I’m a country boy, and I like rural settings. Fincastle is a small town, and so it reminded me of Lexington and Rockbridge County and where I grew up. I want my kids to grow up in a rural environment and love the country as much as I do.”
Cline’s move means the Roanoke Valley again hosts the 6th District representative. Over the last century, six of the eight representatives prior to Cline lived in the Roanoke Valley.