National Republican Group Targeting Florida Districts for Midterm Upsets

Woman voting at booth

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released an expanded list of targeted congressional districts it seeks to flip red during the 2022 midterms. In total, the NRCC is targeting a total of 72 Democrat-held or recently created seats across the country, and four of them are in Florida.

The four Democrat-held Florida seats include District 7 held by Stephanie Murphy who is not seeking re-election, District 13 held by Charlie Crist who is running for governor and not seeking re-election, District 14 held by Kathy Castor, and District 22 held by Ted Deutch who is not seeking re-election.

“Republicans have the message, the candidates, and the resources needed to take back the majority,” said NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer in a statement. “Vulnerable Democrats who chose not to retire will be shown no mercy.”

The NRCC report noted that the boundaries of the four seats are still being determined since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vetoed the Florida Legislature’s proposed maps and called for a special session regarding redistricting later this month.

For District 7, one of the proposed maps showed the district moving east and would extend to the Atlantic Coast and would include New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater, rather than being a landlocked district. Currently, the district is entirely in the northeast suburbs of Orlando, and the move would shift the demographics further to the right.

District 13 is currently within Pinellas County and stretches from Clearwater to St. Petersburg, with mostly urban and suburban left-leaning voters. According to one of the most recent maps by the Florida Legislature, District 13’s boundaries would remain intact.

The seat held by Kathy Castor, District 14, has been proposed to move from downtown Tampa and its northern suburbs including Lutz, down to Brandon and further out to rural Lithia. The move would markedly shift the district to the right.

Deutch’s seat would now be in District 23 and District 22 would incorporate West Palm Beach, down to Delray Beach, and further inland toward Wellington, according to the legislature’s plan.

Murphy’s and Crist’s seats have been battleground seats in the past. In 2016, Murphy defeated the Republican John Mica by approximately 11,000 votes, which equated to three percentage points. Most recently, in 2020, Murphy defeated the Republican by 12 percentage points. However, if the boundaries shifted toward the east, more Republicans would be incorporated into the district.

Similarly, Crist had to fend off Donald Trump-endorsed Anna Paulina Luna in 2020. Crist came out victorious by approximately seven percentage points.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Woman Voting” by WyoFile WyoFile. CC BY 2.0.



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