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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Update: Who won the four-year Senate district lottery? Results here



Four years ago they brought in Lotto balls and the tumbling cage to randomly select which districts got the odd or even numbers that determined 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. 

The biggest losers in the map, two versions of which were filed by Senate Reapportionment Committee Chairman Bill Galvano as the starter maps for the committee to take up on Friday, 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 the number needed to be determined before maps were voted out. They warned it could be perceived as trying to protect incumbents, by giving 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 will be attached to a redistricting plan, based on the existing base map S9078, filed by Galvano.

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 but the answer hasn't been offered. 

Here's an updated look of how these numbers shake out.

Galvano has now filed the map with the new numbering scheme. It's S9090. Here is who will be getting the four-year terms and who will be getting two-year terms if this system is approved: 

17 - Thad Altman, R-Melbourne

12 - Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando

11 - Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland

29 - Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth

39 - open (performs for African American, Democrat)

34 - Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood

19 - John Legg, R-NewPort Richey

26 - Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers

30 - Joe Abruzzo, D-West Palm Beach

22 - Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring

2 – Don Gaetz, R-Niceville

24 – Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton

20 – Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa

35 – Gwen Margolis, D-SunsetBeach

13 – David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs

14 – Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange

15 – Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando

18 – Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater

40 – open, performs for a African American Democrat

21 – Tom Lee, R-Brandon

These get two-year term:

36 - 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

5 - Aaron Bean, R-FernandinaBeach

16 - open, Republican-leaning

23 - Oscar Braynon, D-MiamiGardens

4 - Rob Bradley, R-FlemingIsland

23 - Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg

10 - Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby

37 - Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah

6 - Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville

1 -- Greg Evers, R-Baker

38 – open

9 – Travis Hutson, R-PalmHarbor

27 – Garrett Richter, R-Naples

28 – open

7 – Charlie Dean, R-Inverness

3 – Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee

32 – Jeremy Ring, D-Margate

31 – Joe Abruzzo, D-West Palm Beach and Maria Sachs, D-DelrayBeach

8 – Alan Hays, R-Umatilla

25 – Joe Negron, R-Stuart


[Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2015 7:32pm]


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