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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Steve Bousquet column: Redistricting lines don't always work out as planned



The redrawing of Florida's political boundaries is a highly unpredictable business. Just ask Curt Kiser.

For years, the people of North Pinellas were ably represented by Kiser, one of many moderate, good-government Republicans the region has sent to Tallahassee.

But Kiser had his sights set on another capital: Washington.

He was House Republican leader in 1982, the year Florida got four new congressional seats following the massive population growth of the 1970s. A big part of that growth was in east Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

"I was right in the middle of where that seat had to be," Kiser, a lawyer-lobbyist, recalled Monday.

It looked like a cinch. So confident was Kiser of his chances that one day he emerged from a Capitol hearing, smiled and said, "Just call me 'Congressman.'" This paper picked up the line and printed it, and Kiser has never quite lived it down.

Column here.

[Last modified: Monday, January 9, 2012 7:20pm]


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