In unusual move, Gov. DeSantis submits redistricting map

Jan 18, 2022, 1:30 PM | Updated: 3:48 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has submitted a proposal to reshape the state’s congressional map and carve up districts held by Black Democrats, as the Republican takes the unusual step of inserting himself into the redistricting process.

The proposed congressional map, submitted Sunday on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, signaled the governor’s priorities as the state moves to redraw political maps in the coming months.

Governors typically do not submit map proposals but can veto district plans after they pass in the statehouse. DeSantis, who is running for reelection and is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, has largely shaped the legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled statehouse this year.

DeSantis’ general counsel, Ryan Newman, issued a statement saying their office has “legal concerns” with the current maps under consideration at the Legislature.

“We have submitted an alternative proposal, which we can support, that adheres to federal and state requirements and addresses our legal concerns, while working to increase district compactness, minimize county splits where feasible, and protect minority voting populations,” Newman wrote. “Because the Governor must approve any congressional map passed by the Legislature, we wanted to provide our proposal as soon as possible and in a transparent manner.”

Among other things, the governor’s proposal dismantles a north Florida district held by U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, a Democrat, and would break up a south Florida district formerly held by U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, another Democrat. A St. Petersburg district held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist would also be carved up, under the governor’s plan.

In a statement, Lawson called DeSantis’ proposal “unprecedented” and said “It is evident that DeSantis is trying to restrict minority representation, specifically African American voters.”

“I am confident that this attempt by the governor to dilute the voting rights of my constituents is in clear violation of the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution,” he said.

State Democrats were quick to criticize the governor’s proposed map and suggested it could not pass legal muster as currently drafted.

“From what I can tell, the governor rolled out his own maps, unrequested, on Martin Luther King Day that will probably end up leaving less African-American representation in Congress,” Democratic state Rep. Evan Jenne told reporters.

Last week, the Senate Reapportion Committee approved a Senate-led congressional map on a nearly unanimous vote, signaling that both parties agree that it is drawn without benefitting a political party or candidate. That plan now moves to the full Senate for a vote. The House Redistricting Committee still needs to approve its version of the congressional map.

The Florida Supreme Court in 2015 threw out the state’s congressional maps, which were drawn by Republicans, in a ruling that said the maps benefitted the party and were drawn with the help of state Republican party consultants.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., listens to a question during a news conference, March 30, 2022, in W...

Associated Press

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees, clearing way for hundreds to be approved

Sen. Tommy Tuberville announced Tuesday that he's ending his blockade of hundreds of military promotions, following heavy criticism.

13 hours ago

An employee works inside the Hanwha Qcells Solar plant on Oct. 16, 2023, in Dalton, Ga. On Tuesday,...

Associated Press

US job openings fall to lowest level since March 2021 as labor market cools

U.S. employers posted 8.7 million job openings in October, the fewest since March 2021, in a sign that hiring is cooling.

14 hours ago

Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast, Dec. 7,...

Associated Press

The fourth GOP debate will be a key moment for the young NewsNation cable network

By airing the fourth Republican presidential debate, NewsNation network will almost certainly reach the largest audience in its history.

15 hours ago

Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

6 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

6 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

In unusual move, Gov. DeSantis submits redistricting map