Who is where in the Galvano maps, and who has what terms?
This process has been as clear as mud but, alas, we have figured out who resides in which districts based on the numbering of the two maps that will be presented by Senate Reapportionment Chairman Bill Galvano on Friday.
The Senate arrived at the second set of numbers Thursday using a random process - not too different from the Lotto balls and the tumbling cage used four years ago to randomly select which districts got the odd or even assignments.
The numbers are important because they determine whether senators with new districts would get two or four-year terms. On Thursday, the Senate district lottery took the form of a random software program used by the state's auditor general. Those whose were selected as the first 20 got even districts, meaning they will get only two-year terms. Those whose districts were in the second half got four-year terms.
The biggest losers in the map are three senators from Miami-Dade: Sens. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami and Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay. They will have to move or face each other.
In Palm Beach County, Democratic Sen. Joe Abruzzo of West Palm Beach is merged into the same district as Maria Sachs of Delray Beach.
The informal meeting to select the new numbering system was held in a Senate hearing room Thursday morning, as staff from the auditor general randomly ran the computer program to match 40 districts to numbers.
Watching were a handful of Democratic senators -- Sens. Oscar Braynon, Jeff Clemens, Audrey Gibson and Geraldine Thompson -- as well as the Senate's legal team, and two Republican senators, Joe Negron and Jeff Brandes.
They started with the districts from the map filed as S9078, and then randomly determined which 20 of the 40 districts would be given an odd number in the new Senate map -- and a guarantee of four-year terms.
The Democrats asked they why the numbers were needed before maps were voted out of committee. They warned it could be perceived as trying to protect incumbents, giving senators them a reason to support the map, and would violate the anti-incumbent protection rules of the Florida Constitution.
"The question has to be asked, why are we numbering [the map] right now when it hasn't even come up for a vote,'' asked Braynon, after the meeting. "It leaves us open for that intent to be questioned...and everything could get thrown out."
"It's an effort to earn votes and give a political direction to folks that may want to re-engineer districts to make sure they are getting a two, or four-year term,'' Clemens added. "I think it sets us up to do things that are political in nature when we didn't need to do this. There was no good reason given for why we had to do this right now and I think it taints the process and makes it more unlikely we're going to take unconstitutional action."
The numbers were assigned to S9090, a redistricting plan filed Thursday by Galvano and based on the existing base map S9078.
Still unanswered: will all senators have to face re-election on the 2016 ballot under this plan, or not? It seems illogical they wouldn't if they use the random numbering sysate, but the answer hasn't been offered publicly.
Here's an updated look of how these numbers shake out. The district numbers – first the number used in S9078 and S9084 and the second is the corresponding number in S9090.
17/18 - Thad Altman, R-Melbourne
36/40 - This district seems to merge Sens. Miguel de la Portilla, R-Miami, into the same seat as Anitere Flores, R-Miami, and Dwight Bullard, D-CutlerBay
12/14 - Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando
5/6 - Aaron Bean, R-FernandinaBeach
11/12 - Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland
29/30 - Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth
39 - open (performs for African American, Democrat)
4/4 - Rob Bradley, R-FlemingIsland
34/32 - Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood
19/20 - John Legg, R-NewPort Richey
10/10 - Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby
26/26 – Nancy Detert, R-Venice
30/28 - open
22/24 - Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring
1/2 - Greg Evers, R-Baker
These get four-year terms:
2 – Don Gaetz, R-Niceville
38/39 - open
24/23 – Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton
9/9 – Travis Hutson, R-PalmHarbor
20/19 – Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa
35/37 – Gwen Margolis, D-Miami
28/27 - Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers
13/11 – David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs
7/7 – Charlie Dean, R-Inverness
14/13 – Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange
3/3 – Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee
15/15 – Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando
32/31 – Jeremy Ring, D-Margate
18/17 – Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater
31/33 – Joe Abruzzo, D-West Palm Beach and Maria Sachs, D-DelrayBeach
40/35 – open, performs for a African American Democrat
8/5 – Alan Hays, R-Umatilla
21/21 – Tom Lee, R-Brandon
25/25 – Joe Negron, R-Stuart