Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is moving forward with adopting a new congressional map for his state that some projections predict could lead to Republicans picking up four additional U.S. House seats in the state.
“The DeSantis administration formally submitted its plan Wednesday to the GOP-controlled Legislature where leaders in that chamber have already signaled they would accept whatever proposal was offered to them,” Politico reported. “Wednesday’s move is a signal of the power DeSantis wields in the now-Republican-dominated state. Redistricting in Florida may help shape the composition of the U.S. House for at least the next decade.”
The new map effectively targets seats held by Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL), Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL),Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and potentially Rep. Val Demings (D-FL).
The report added:
DeSantis has asserted for weeks that Lawson’s current seat — which stretches from Jacksonville to just west of Tallahassee — runs afoul of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions because it was drawn to guarantee the election of a Black candidate. The new map instead comes up with two new Jacksonville-centered districts that were won by former President Donald Trump.
The governor’s map not only removes Lawson’s district, but his proposal would also remake the Orlando-area central Florida seat now held by Rep. Val Demings so white voters would make up the largest portion of Democratic primary voters, according to analysis by Matthew Isbell, a Democratic data consultant.
Congressional experts noted that if DeSantis’ map is successfully implemented, it would entirely wipe out all the redistricting wins that Democrats have secured thus far for the upcoming midterm elections.
“If this 20R-8D FL map passes and withstands court challenges, it could net Republicans four additional seats, entirely wiping out Dems’ national redistricting gains thus far,” Dave Wasserman, who analyzes House races as a senior editor at The Cook Political Report, tweeted.
If this 20R-8D FL map passes and withstands court challenges, it could net Republicans four additional seats, entirely wiping out Dems' national redistricting gains thus far. https://t.co/7MU6BaPrDM
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) April 13, 2022
“It is appalling, but not surprising, that the Republican Legislature has abdicated its constitutional duty to draft and pass congressional maps to the governor,” Manny Diaz, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, whined in a statement. “As proven by the proposed map released today, Gov. DeSantis is hell-bent on eliminating congressional seats where Florida’s minority communities have the ability to elect representatives of their choice and he is imposing his own partisan political preferences on Florida’s congressional map.”
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