Senate redistricting maps get complicated by personal and political agendas
Personal ambitions have been kept off the record in the Legislature's once-a-decade redistricting fight, but the carefully choreographed plan could implode this week if a House committee proposes and accepts changes to the Senate map.
That would put an end to the gentleman's agreement between the two chambers to accept each other's redistricting maps — and set off a battle that could delay a budget accord.
"It could blow up a few things,'' said Rep. Dwight Bullard, a Miami Democrat, who is watching the Senate maps carefully as he plans to run for a Senate seat held by his mother, Larcenia Bullard.
The Senate map is an immensely personal exercise for many House members who, like Bullard, have aspirations of getting elected to the upper chamber. But the Senate map also is personal for the 40-member Senate, where 30 of the incumbents — 21 Republicans and 9 Democrats — hope to return next year.
The Senate map leaves "every (sitting) Republican and every (sitting) Democrat in better shape than they are today,'' said Rep. Ron Saunders, the House Democratic leader.
Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, for example, avoided being matched up with Sen. Greg Evers, a fellow Republican who also happens to live in Okaloosa County. Gaetz lives in Niceville and Evers lives in the tiny rural town of Baker. Story and breakdown of local delegation maps here. Interactive Senate map here.