Senate map mirrors NAACP plan, packs Dems, helps incumbents
The Senate redistricting committee will meet today to take up the first proposals out of that chamber and it already has it's first agreement with the House: the Senate will draw Senate maps and the House will draw the House maps. It's an accord reached out of pragmatism, and advantage: it allows leaders of both chambers to make incumbents happy, a Times/Herald analysis shows.
The Senate map of the Senate is a good example. It is modeled after a redistricting map submitted by the Florida State Conference of the NAACP, packs Democrats into districts in order to strengthen neighboring Republicans seats, and gives incumbents on both sides of the aisle a good shot at reelection, a Herald/Times analysis has shown.
The NAACP’s map was submitted on Nov. 3 by Timothy Stallman, a demographer with the North Carolina-based Southern Coalition for Social Justice. In an email to Senate staff two days later, NAACP president Adora Obi Nweze asked that Stallman’s name be removed from the map and the name of the NAACP be substituted instead. Repeated efforts to reach Nweze were unsuccessful.
From the Panhandle to Miami, there have been few complaints from Senate Democrats or Republicans about the proposed map. The only trouble spots are a handful of districts that could provoke a court challenge because they might not comply with the requirements of the new Fair District amendments to the Florida Constitution. The Senate redistricting committee will discuss the map on Tuesday, while the House plans to take up the NAACP plan in a workshop Thursday.