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Oscar Braynon files 5 more Senate maps

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Senate’s second-ranking Democrat has filed five more plans for consideration in the ongoing Special Session to redraw the state’s 40 senatorial districts.

The chamber’s redistricting web page shows that state Sen. Oscar Braynon II of Miami Gardens filed the maps Sunday.

Braynon, the Democratic leader pro tempore, also is vice chairman of the Reapportionment Committee. Its members voted 4-3 Friday, along party lines, to forward a map (S9090) to the floor favored by chair Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican.

Procedurally, Braynon’s maps could be considered as amendments as the full Senate begins taking up the matter Tuesday, with a possible vote on Wednesday.

That would send the Senate’s approved map to the House for consideration. The Special Session for Senate redistricting is scheduled to end Nov. 6.

Three of Braynon’s maps “jump the bay,” crossing Tampa Bay from Hillsborough to Pinellas counties to take in a Democrat-rich pocket of southeast Pinellas as lawmakers continue to struggle to make a minority-access seat in the region.

Crossing the bay was a no-no in the state Supreme Court’s ruling in a similar constitutional challenge to congressional districts.

Other versions of that district, currently held by Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner of Tampa, have it meandering around the water and dipping down into Bradenton.

No matter the map, Galvano clarified last week that all senators will most likely have to run again for their seats next year, saying it “probably (is) a legal reality at this point.”

Also, leading Republican senators – including past Senate President Tom Lee of Brandon and Clearwater’s Jack Latvala, a possible future president – last week opined that Galvano’s map was probably unconstitutional.

At a committee meeting Friday, Lee said the map going to the floor may make “legal sense, but it makes no common sense.”

Braynon’s maps and their accompanying reports may be viewed here.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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