First Maps of Florida’s New Congressional Districts Released

Florida State Capitol


The first maps of Florida’s new congressional districts were released this week, and Florida’s newest district could have Polk County existing within its own congressional district. Florida currently has 27 districts but gained one after the 2020 census.

Congressional District 15, which is currently occupied by Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL-15), represents northern Polk County, southern Lake County, and an eastern portion of Hillsborough County. Franklin could be inclined to run for re-election in the newest congressional district as he is a resident of Lakeland, Polk County’s largest city.

“Even though the number’s different, presumably, he’s going to sort of stay and represent a lot or try to represent a lot of the same constituents and geography that he currently does,” said Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida. “It would be the logical thing, and that seems likely to be a Republican (district) – again, just based on how it’s drawn and how that area has voted in recent presidential races and other races.”

Going into the redistricting, some felt the Republican dominated legislature would seek to alter congressional seats currently occupied by Democrats to split Democratic voting blocs and flip the seats red in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. However, the districts in question, District 7, held by Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7), and District 13, held by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), have largely been untouched.

In 2020, then-President Donald J. Trump won 15 of 27 Florida counties, and with the new maps, it would appear Trump hypothetically would have won 16.

Dave Wasserman, editor for the Cook Political Report, previously said he could see Florida’s Republicans working to redraw the maps to favor Republicans, but admitted these first proposals are anything but gerrymandering.

“FL’s Senate Rs release four draft congressional maps,” Wasserman tweeted. “Bizarre: these maps shore up #FL27 Rep. Maria Salazar (R), but otherwise are barely gerrymanders. By my count these maps break down 16-12 Trump-Biden, vs. 15-12 today. Is this a head fake?”

Wasserman also noted that while the new district would create a GOP district, it would also turn District 15 into a solid Democratic district.

“These maps would put #FL15 Rep. Scott Franklin (R) in the new safe R #FL28, but turn #FL15 into a *Biden* seat in the east Tampa suburbs – effectively creating a new Dem seat,” Wasserman also tweeted. “I can’t imagine this is going to be the ultimate GOP plan in FL.”

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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 “Florida Capitol building” by Michael Rivera CC BY-SA 3.0.






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