Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County NAACP abandons plans to challenge county voting districts

BROOKSVILLE — The NAACP will not mount a legal challenge to the county's political district map after all, the Hernando County chapter president said late Tuesday.

The civil rights organization and its state affiliates have too many pressing voter-suppression battles to fight throughout the country to devote resources to a relatively minor cause in Hernando, Paul Douglas told the School Board at its evening meeting.

"We have bigger fish to fry," Douglas said.

Douglas had previously said the group would challenge in federal court a voting district map approved by the County Commission and the School Board. The map is an amended version of one approved in a November workshop by both the commission and the Board. It uses 2010 census data to make some minor adjustments to even out the population in the five districts.

The original map drew fire from Republican Jason Sager, who had announced his plan to run for the District 3 commission seat the day before the workshop. Sager told commissioners that he should have been considered, as other prequalified candidates had been. The map would have moved Sager's residence from District 3 to District 5, and the commission agreed last month to alter the map to put Sager's home back into District 3.

County attorneys called the map legally defensible. A divided School Board approved the same map eight days later to ensure commission districts and board districts align, minimizing voter confusion.

Local NAACP officials called the map a gerrymandered violation of the federal Voting Rights Act. The group created its own map that Douglas argued is better because it is not based on where candidates live and more evenly distributes the population among the five districts.

Douglas has another connection to the map debate: he also is running for the commission's District 5 seat. He planned to step down as branch president last month to avoid a conflict with the NAACP bylaws, but has postponed that resignation while the branch fills vacant vice-president positions to ensure a complete process of succession. That should happen soon, he said.

County Commissioner Dave Russell said he was glad to hear the news of the NAACP's decision.

"It's good that they won't be expending resources because, frankly, I don't think that would benefit the taxpayers or the organization," Russell said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or tmarrero@tampabay.com.

Hernando County NAACP abandons plans to challenge county voting districts 01/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  2. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  3. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  4. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.