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We break down what Florida’s new congressional map means for voters

State lawmaker 1Angie Nixon holds a microphone and speaks during a session.
Florida House of Representatives
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Democratic representative Angie Nixon of Jacksonville was one of the lawmakers who participated in the sit-in protest against the new congressional map last Thursday.

Last week, lawmakers voted along party lines to approve maps proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

This week on Florida Matters, we recap the recent special session to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries.

Lawmakers voted largely along party lines to approve maps proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The controversial maps are expected to reduce Black Congressional representation in the state — especially with the elimination of North Florida’s District 5, a majority-minority district - and give an advantage to Republican candidates.

Guest Valerie Crowder, a reporter from WFSU, Tallahassee’s NPR member station, said Black lawmakers were strongly opposed to the new map during the special session. Some even held a sit-in protest on the House floor.

DeSantis’ map also includes big changes for the greater Tampa Bay region.

Under the new map, one of the largest cities in the region — St. Petersburg — will be represented by two lawmakers instead of one. The size of Democrat Kathy Castor’s District 14 — which encompasses all of Tampa — would grow to include part of St. Petersburg.

That change is very intentional, guest William March, a longtime Tampa Bay-based political reporter, noted. March said the change is designed to help Republican candidates in future elections and make Florida’s District 13 less competitive.

You can listen to host Matthew Peddie's conversation with Crowder and March by clicking on the “Listen” button above. Or you can listen on the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

I am the host of WUSF’s weekly public affairs show Florida Matters, where I get to indulge my curiosity in people and explore the endlessly fascinating stories that connect this community.