Florida Redistricting Leaves Democrats in Disarray

(PresidentialHill.com)- Politico reported on Tuesday that Florida Democrats are growing frustrated over Governor Ron DeSantis’ efforts to reshape the state’s redistricting process. Florida’s 2022 primaries are six months away, and state Democrats are unsure who will be running in some districts.

Former Miami Democrat Congresswoman Donna Shalala wants to see the new map before she decides whether to run against Republican Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar.

Shalala’s former seat isn’t the only one without a Democrat challenger. Former Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who was defeated in 2020, decided last month not to try and retake her seat from Republican Congressman Carlos Gimenez. In December, Florida Democrat Stephanie Murphy announced her retirement, and two months later, no Democrat has announced a run to replace her.

The Florida legislative session ends in March and Governor DeSantis is already vowing to veto any map that includes what he describes as “unconstitutional districts.” A veto from the governor would force a special session of the legislature to reach a final deal. This would only delay the process even further.

All of this has left Florida Democrats fuming.

Matt Isbell, a Democrat consultant tracking redistricting told Politico that Democrats working on congressional campaigns are “losing their minds” because Florida still hasn’t finalized the district map.

Things were initially moving along swimmingly until January when Governor DeSantis proposed his maps that would have done away with two seats currently held by Democrat lawmakers.

Florida picked up one congressional seat in the 2020 census. In the current map, Republicans hold a 16 to 11 advantage over Democrats. DeSantis’ proposed maps would increase that Republican edge to 18.

But because the two Democrat-held congressional seats DeSantis wants to do away with are held by black politicians, including Congressman Al Lawson in northern Florida, Democrats in Florida lost their minds.

The Florida Senate already approved maps that gave Republicans only 16 seats.

Meanwhile, the Florida House has presented two maps, one of which breaks up Lawson’s district and gives Republicans two extra seats. The second proposed map, prepared in case the courts rule against the first map, retains Lawson’s seat.

The official qualifying period for Florida candidates running for federal office is mid-June.