April 26, 2022 Updated 8:26 A.M.
TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – A comparison of the new Florida redistricting map with the 2010-2020 map shows that Gov. Ron DeSantis drew a more geometrically even, less gerrymandered congressional map, contrary to Democrat complaints.
The new map was embattled by Democrats and left-wing activists – particularly, Districts 5 and 10 were claimed to be protected minority districts that DeSantis was gutting. Democrat Alfred Lawson currently represents District 5.
However, neither of these districts are majority-minority.
The Florida Panhandle was redone to make shaped districts with straighter lines and more discernable shapes, unlike the Democrat-gerrymandering District 5, which ran into Jacksonville, cut south, and ran hundreds of miles to Tallahassee, done in an effort to favor the minority black vote to the exclusion of other races.
The Orlando area was also redone to include more even shapes, with the old Orlando area being divided up into three unique districts with Orlando in the center. Instead, the new map encompasses the Orlando area in just two districts, one which encompasses the immediate Orlando area, and the other which runs slightly south.
The districts leading from Tampa were also cleaned up under the GOP map, with the new District 15 and 11 replacing the old district that ran from Orlando to Tampa.
Gov. DeSantis signed the redistricting map into law at the conclusion of the legislature’s special session last week to the outcry of Democrats
Earlier in the year, the Governor vetoed a redistricting map that Republicans in the legislature drew themselves, calling it “unlawful” due to its inclusion of District 5 in the Panhandle.
The new map, once it takes effect, will give Republicans an additional four seats in the national legislature, up to 20 from 16.
Supporters of the new map note to Democrats that black representation exists in densely Republican District 19 in Southwest Florida.
“I think the Republican idea is one out that we elect people based on who they are and what they represent, and their qualifications individually and not by the color of their skin,” said Lee County GOP President Jonathan Martin.
“If you’re going to elect people based on the color of their skin, why have they ignored Hispanics?” Martin asked. “I will tell you why. Because it doesn’t help their ideology. Hispanics in much larger numbers vote for Republicans than for Democrats.”
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