DeSantis Approves Numerous Budget Items

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), this week, approved millions of dollars that were debated during the 2022 Legislative Session’s budget conferences. One of the largest recipients of state dollars is cancer research who will be receiving $100 million.

At a press conference on Wednesday, DeSantis made the announcement alongside his wife, First Lady Casey DeSantis, who battled breast cancer.

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Biden Reverses Course on Cuba Policy, Florida Officials Condemn

President Joe Biden (D) announced this week the United States will be loosening restrictions on Marxist countries, namely Cuba and Venezuela. Travel restrictions will be lightened to Cuba and flights will be authorized to Cuban cities outside of Havana and travel will be permitted for educational purposes.

In reaction, Florida Republicans and Democrats have condemned the actions saying that going soft on the dictatorial regimes will only embolden Castro and Maduro.

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Judge Lifts Stay in Florida Congressional Redistricting Case

Florida Judge Layne Smith lifted a stay on an injunction against his ruling related to Florida’s congressional redistricting case. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the State of Florida appealed Smith’s original ruling that said the proposed and passed congressional redistricting maps were unconstitutional.

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Rubio, Demings Race Heating Up

The senatorial race between Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL-10) is beginning to heat up with each trading jabs. While Demings has not officially received the Democrat nomination, much Democrat support, fundraising, and polling is coalescing around Demings.

Demings recently went on the attack against Rubio calling him an abortion “extremist.”

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Florida Judge Set to Block DeSantis’ Congressional Maps

Congressional maps proposed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and pushed through the Florida Legislature during the 2022 Special Session are set to be blocked by a Florida judge. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said he would make the order official either Thursday or Friday.

Smith said he would order the construction of new maps since, he said, the DeSantis-proposed maps were discriminatory against black voters in Congressional District 5, in North Florida.

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DeSantis Sets Fundraising Record

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) set a new 2022 gubernatorial campaign fundraising record. During April, DeSantis raised approximately $10.5 million. Around $2.3 million was raised by his reelection campaign and $8.2 million was raised by DeSantis’ political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis.

In total, DeSantis has raised over $113 million for the election cycle, which is over 10 times the amount of his next closest competitor, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13).

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State of Florida Attorneys Respond to Redistricting Lawsuit

Attorneys representing the State of Florida, particularly Secretary of State Laurel Lee, issued an 18-page document consisting of their arguments against the groups filing suit. Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith is scheduled to hear a request for a temporary injunction to block the maps from proceeding.

Much of the focus of the redistricting process has been centered around District 5 currently held by Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL-5). Civil rights groups and Lawson have said that the new map backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is “infected by racial discrimination” for eliminating a historic minority majority voting district.

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Charlie Crist Rakes In $1 Million for April, DeSantis Polls Well in North Carolina

Florida’s two likely gubernatorial candidates have had successful months in preparation for the 2022 election. Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) pulled in another $1 million during the month of April and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) finished second in a hypothetical GOP presidential poll in North Carolina.

Crist issued a press release and indicated the million-dollar month was from contributions from both his campaign and his Friends of Charlie Crist political committee. It is unclear how much money is coming from each entity. However, individual donors who give less than $50 consist of approximately 44,000 of the contributions and the large donations are funneled through the political committee.

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Abortions Are Down in Florida

Recent data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) shows abortions numbers are down in Florida from year-to-year. Records indicate there have been just over 16,500 abortions so far in 2022, and if the trend continues, would be a 38 percent decrease from 2021.

During 2021, there were 79,811 abortions, which was a 6.6 percent increase from 2020. The data also showed that the overwhelming majority of abortions performed were elective which backs up other data points from across the country.

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Florida Officials React to SCOTUS Leak

In the wake of the national news that an initial draft of a United States Supreme Court decision had been leaked to the public indicating the high court’s intentions to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case, Florida officials have both been chanting and jeering the news. Florida’s anti-abortion politicians have said this could be a good indicator, while pro-abortionists are worried this will lead to more restrictive abortion laws.

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Democrat Officials Think DeSantis Might Be ‘Unstoppable’

Ron DeSantis

Democrat operatives are continually showing signs that they feel they cannot win in Florida in the 2022 gubernatorial election observing that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seems “unstoppable.” A recent report from Politico showed that Democrats in Florida and Washington, D.C. are not feeling confident, the latter determining how many resources will be sent to the Sunshine State to attempt to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

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DeSantis Hints at Special Session for Constitutional Carry

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), once again, made a plea for the Florida Legislature to get a constitutional carry bill to his desk. He made the promise to get the policy push done by the time he is no longer governor and even floated the idea of a special session to get it done.

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Florida Democrat Gubernatorial Candidate Charlie Crist Says Biden Will Go Down as ‘One of the Best’

In a question-and-answer article with the Tallahassee Democrat, Florida Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) said President Joe Biden (D) will go down as “one of the best [presidents] we’ve ever had.” His comments come as he has become the Democrat frontrunner for the 2022 Florida Democrat gubernatorial primary.

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DeSantis Teases Additional Legislation Regarding Disney’s Tax Status

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was a featured guest on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle hosted by Laura Ingraham and said his administration is working on additional legislation to address Disney’s tax status after the Florida Legislature repealed the 1960s-era law that established the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The district allowed Disney to operate relatively autonomously with the ability to tax at its own rate, provide its own police, and supervise its own utilities. Florida Republicans have indicated that the repeal of the improvement district was long overdue.

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DeSantis Calls Out So-Called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Moniker and Migrating Californians Staining Red States Blue

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was a featured guest with conservative commentator Ben Shapiro and participated in a Q&A segment. In it, DeSantis tells some of the back story behind the recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill as well as deriding Californians for their main export being ideology.

DeSantis specifically pointed out the number of California companies who are moving to states like Texas and Florida and who are bringing their employees with them.

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DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill earlier Monday related to election integrity. The Florida Legislature prioritized the legislation in order to ensure Florida’s elections process is safe and secure.

DeSantis signed SB 524, which creates an Office of Election Crimes and Security within the Florida Department of State and will “investigate election law violations and increasing penalties for violations of election laws.”

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Gubernatorial Hopeful Crist Calls DeSantis Supporters ‘Toothless’

Charlie Crist

In a video circulated across social media sites, Florida Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) referred to supporters of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as “toothless.” Crist is trying to outlast other Democrat candidates for the 2022 Florida gubernatorial nomination to eventually face off against DeSantis in the November general election.

In the video, Crist is speaking at an event and said DeSantis is trying to score “political points.”

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Gov. DeSantis Recommends New Florida Education Commissioner

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recommended Florida State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. (R – Hialeah Gardens) to succeed current Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. Corcoran himself was a former Florida House Speaker who is seeking to spend time with family and announced his resignation effective at the end of April.

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Florida Legislature Passes Congressional Redistricting Map, Democrats Protest

A number of Florida’s House Democrats staged a protest on the floor of the Florida House to voice their opposition to Republicans’ efforts around congressional redistricting yesterday. Due to the protest, the Florida House’s procedures were temporarily halted. However, the protest was short-lived, and the House proceeded to approve Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) proposed congressional map.

The Florida Senate had already approved the map, and the House was the map’s final stop.

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Florida Cabinet Officials Take Shots at Biden over Mask Mandate ‘Misery’ and Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) are both taking shots at President Joe Biden’s administration simultaneously. While each official’s reasoning for opposition to the Biden administration is rooted in different policy priorities, it shows a unique circumstance in which Fried and DeSantis, who are usually at opposite ends of the spectrum, are directing their angst to Washington.

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Florida Democrats Criticize Congressional Redistricting as Legislature Reconvenes

Numerous Florida Democrats and officials criticized the Florida Legislature’s process to approve the new congressional maps as the legislature reconvened Monday. Legislative leaders, last week announced they would be working on the new maps entirely proposed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) office and would not be creating their own.

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New Report Shows Florida Unemployment Dropping

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released their monthly unemployment figures and the state’s unemployment rate is continuing to drop. Conversely, Florida is also seeing consistent job growth from month-to-month.

According to the report, Florida’s adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in March, which was a decrease by 0.1 percent from the previous month. The national unemployment rate was hovering around 3.6 percent.

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Gov. DeSantis Tells Illegal Immigrants to Not Come to Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said this week that illegal immigrants wanting to come to Florida “would not be welcome.”

“To those who have entered the country illegally, fair warning: do not come to Florida,” DeSantis said. “Life will not be easy for you, because we are obligated to uphold the immigration laws of this country, even if our federal government and other states won’t.”

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Judge Upholds Florida Abortion Waiting-Period Law

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey upheld a Florida law requiring women to wait 24 hours before proceeding with an abortion. The judge tossed a lawsuit challenging the Florida law after a seven-year battle. The law was signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2015.

Dempsey said that the plaintiffs were not entitled to a stay on the ruling as they could not demonstrate that “irreparable harm” would be caused, as well as other states having legal waiting periods on the books.

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DeSantis Signs 15-Week Abortion Ban

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a 15-week abortion ban into law Thursday, marking two days in a row of significant pro-life victories in the Sunshine State. Wednesday, a Florida circuit judge upheld Florida’s 24-hour waiting period for women who were seeking abortions.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Will Draw Congressional Maps, Legislature Defers

The Florida Legislature announced it will not be drawing the redistricting congressional maps, but instead, will defer to the maps drawn up by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis became involved with the process earlier in 2022 when he submitted his own plans outside of the legislature’s recommendations.

“We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support,” said Republican leaders in a joint memo. “Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees.”

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Gov. Ron DeSantis Re-Election Fundraising Tops $100 Million

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has raised more than $100 million, according to a campaign contributions report, and is the first candidate to reach the nine figure mark in the 2022 election cycle.

DeSantis has extended his lead over all of the likely opponents for the general election: Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), and Florida State Sen. Annette Taddeo (D-Miami).

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Florida Senators Rubio, Scott Vote ‘No’ on Brown-Jackson, Progressives Fawn

Florida’s progressive officials fawned over the recent confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson to the United States Supreme Court delighting in the first black woman being confirmed to the high court. Florida’s Senators, Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R), both voted “no” in Brown-Jackson’s final confirmation vote.

Rubio, when assessing Brown-Jackson’s judicial history, viewed her more as a political activist than a judge working within the law.

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NYC Mayor Recruits Floridians, DeSantis Brushes Off New York

Eric Adams

In the wake of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing HB 1557, the Parent Rights in Education Bill, New York City Mayor Eric Adams launched a set of ads in Florida designed to recruit LGBT Floridians and their businesses to New York.

Adams called the Florida bill “the latest shameful, extremist culture war targeting the LGBTQ+ community.”

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Florida Voter Fraud Case Leads to 10 Individuals Charged

Person voting in poll booth

Ten former jail inmates at the Alachua County jail are facing felony voter fraud charges after they have been accused of registering to vote and successfully casting a ballot in the 2020 presidential election. All voter registrations have been revoked.

Initially, when reports came out about five former inmates illegally voting there were two Democrats, one Republican, and two more unaffiliated voters.

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Judge Strikes Down Parts of 2021 Florida Election Reform Law

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker wrote a decision striking down parts of an election integrity bill passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last year. The provisions that were struck down were the parts that limited the use of ballot drop boxes to voting hours and requiring a third-party to issue a warning to potential voters that their registration application might not be turned in before the voter registration deadline or within the required 14 days.

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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 they are seeking 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.

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Biden Seeking More Everglades Conservation Money

President Joe Biden (D) is seeking more than $400 million in additional Florida Everglades conservation dollars on top of the over $1 billion already set to be spent on the ecosystem this year. In a budget proposal released to the public, it would be the largest restoration investment in American history.

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Federal Government to Monitor Florida Schools

United States Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Miguel Cardona said their Office of Civil Rights will be monitoring the implementation of the recently signed Parental Rights in Education bill. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the bill into law on Monday.

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DeSantis Signs Multiple Education-Related Bills

In the last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed numerous education-related bills into law. Along with the nationally famous Parental Rights in Education Bill, DeSantis signed legislation installing term limits for school board members, limiting restraints on students, and ensuring school staff had an “individualized seizure action plan.”

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Florida Judge Expected to Uphold Pro-Life Law

A Leon County, Fla. circuit judge, Angela Dempsey, is expected to uphold a 2015 Florida law requiring women seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before going through the procedure. Dempsey indicated her decision earlier this week on Wednesday.

The order would be another indicator of a trend, nationally, of pro-life judicial and legislative victories. Even in predominately left-leaning states like Connecticut, its first ever March for Life garnered thousands of attendants.

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Florida Cabinet Considering Purchasing More Conservation Land

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the rest of the Florida Cabinet are considering purchasing up to $40 million worth of land deals for conservation purposes. The cabinet consists of Florida’s statewide executive officials: Attorney General Ashley Moody (R), Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (R).

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Judge Asking for More Information Regarding Florida Election Integrity Bill

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker is asking attorneys to file briefs about the potential effects of recently passed SB 524 on an existing lawsuit regarding last year’s SB 90 on election integrity. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has yet to sign SB 524 but it will make further changes to Florida’s elections process.

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Ron DeSantis Condemns NCAA over Transgender Swimmer Winning Championship

Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued a proclamation declaring University of Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant the rightful national champion in the 500-yard freestyle women’s swimming national championship. The National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) declared national champion is Lia Thomas, born William Thomas, who was born a man and identifies as a transgender female.

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Marco Rubio, Rick Scott Join Amicus Brief Defending Religious Exemptions

Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R) signed their names to an amicus brief defending health care workers in a lawsuit against the State of New York over COVID shot mandates. The employees were denied a religious exemption.

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CDC Lifted Indoor Masking Recommendations for Florida, Weeks Behind DeSantis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they no longer recommend indoor masking for residents of states like Florida. The announcement comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has already been defying the CDC’s recommendations and took it a step further, saying the Florida Department of Health is recommending against COVID shots for children.

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Sheriffs Endorse Wilton Simpson for Agriculture Commissioner

A total of 59 county sheriffs have endorsed Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) for agriculture commissioner. Simpson, an egg farmer, has a number of notable endorsements so far in his young campaign.

Simpson’s list of endorsements includes: The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), the National Rifle Association’s Unified Sportsmen of Florida (NRA-USF), the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida (Florida Builders), Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA), and Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor).

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DeSantis Hints at Budget Vetoes Ahead of Signing

The Florida legislature recently passed the largest budget in state history totaling $112.1 billion and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is already hinting at vetoes to the record budget ahead of signing the appropriations.

Since DeSantis took office in January 2019, his vetoes have incrementally increased each year, culminating in $1.5 billion being slashed from 2021’s budget. However, DeSantis ensured the City of Hialeah Education Academy that they will be receiving $2.9 million from the state. DeSantis made the announcement for additional education STEM funding from the Hialeah school.

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USA Today Columnist Mocks Florida Lawmaker’s Home Being Damaged by Tornado

A USA Today opinion columnist called a Florida lawmaker a “rotten bigot” and said God destroyed part of the lawmaker’s home. Michael J. Stern, the columnist, recently tweeted on Wednesday that he did not believe in God, but the news of Florida State Rep. Joe Harding’s (R-Williston) home being seriously damaged was causing him to reconsider.

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DeSantis Announces Additional STEM Funding

On the heels of the recently concluded Florida legislative session, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced an additional $289 million for STEM programs, civics education, and after-school and summer learning programs.

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Florida Groups Celebrate Successful Legislative Session

The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida TaxWatch have both announced their satisfaction with this year’s recently concluded Florida legislative session. They are organizations that advocate for free markets, taxpayers research, and a government watchdog, respectively.

One of the efforts the Chamber was backing was its repeat effort to pass COVID liability protections for Florida businesses. The bill, SB 7014, would extend the liability protections to an additional 14 months, all the way to June 1, 2023. The bill builds on last year’s SB 72, which said businesses who are sued over COVID procedures would have to prove there was a “good faith effort to substantially comply with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards or guidance at the time the cause of action accrued.”

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Diaper Tax Break Comes to Florida

Anna Eskamani and Lauren

During the negotiations for the 2022-2023 Florida budget’s tax package, lawmakers included a provision that would include a diaper tax break in Florida. Diapers would become tax-free in Florida for one year starting July 1.

The effort was bipartisan in nature, but Florida Democrat lawmakers Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) and Florida State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando), were the ones who spearheaded the effort.

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Florida Gov. DeSantis Touts Legislative Victories

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted many of the conservative policy victories and personal legislative victories in a speech Monday. The speech took place during the closing of the 2022 Florida legislative session. The session, this year, had been described as a “culture war” and DeSantis and Florida’s Republicans passed a number of priorities.

One of the hallmarks were DeSantis dubbing this year’s session as “year of the parent in the state of Florida.”

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Progressive Group Sues State of Florida over Redistricting Maps

Democracy Docket, a self-described “progressive” voting advocacy group, has sued the Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee and Attorney General Ashley Moody for not having an approved congressional redistricting map finalized months ahead of candidate qualifying.

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