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Politics / Issues
Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

A Florida Senate remapping plan receives some pushback over Tampa Bay area redistricting

 Proposed Florida Senate district map
Floridaredistricting.gov
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Proposed Florida Senate district map

Some Democrats on the committee argued stretching Blue Senate District 19 across Tampa Bay to pick up African-American voters in southern St. Petersburg wasn’t necessary to achieve equal representation.

A Florida Senate subcommittee has recommended its plan for what the chamber’s districts will look like over the next decade.

The two nearly identical proposed state Senate maps — S8046 and S8050 — would give Republicans a 23-to-17 seat advantage, based on the 2020 presidential election results.

Some Democrats on the committee argued stretching Blue Senate District 19 across Tampa Bay to pick up African-American voters in southern St. Petersburg wasn’t necessary to achieve equal representation.

Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) explained during the subcommittee meeting on Monday that drawing the district so that it covers all of Hillsborough County would achieve the same goal.

Florida Senate Subcommittee on Reapportionment
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Matthew Isbell is a redistricting expert and former consultant for the Democratic Party.

“The legislature’s insisting this needs to be done for racial representation. Folks like myself argue that it’s actually being done to pack Democratic voters to prevent a lean Democratic seat in southern Pinellas.”

The state Senate and House are in charge of drawing their own district maps. The two chambers must come to an agreement on the state’s congressional districts. Lawmakers plan to focus heavily on the once-a-decade remapping process throughout the 60-day legislative session, which starts on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

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