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Oscar Braynon rolls out first Senate redistricting plan ahead of Special Session

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State Sen. Oscar Braynon has filed the first proposed re-drawn Senate map under President Andy Gardiner‘s new redistricting regime, following a consent agreement under which the Senate admitted it violated state constitutional prohibitions against gerrymandering.

Notably, the map does not feature a district that traverses the Tampa Bay, combining parts of St. Petersburg and Tampa by way of unpopulated territory in the middle, a maneuver the Florida Supreme Court ruled illegal in its opinion on the state’s congressional maps back in July.

Instead, it draws SD 22 — currently occupied by state Sen. Jeff Brandes — further north into Pinellas County.

The Miami Gardens Democrat had previously expressed his desire to get the ball rolling early in a letter to Senate redistricting expert Jay Ferrin.

He asked Ferrin and his staff to draft a “base map” akin to the one lawmakers used during Special Session B, convened to craft redrawn congressional boundaries that would pass constitutional muster. The new map is, presumably, the product of that request.

“Rather than limiting public scrutiny to a few days prior to House or Senate committee consideration, starting the work over a month in advance allows for full public participation in a process that affects everyone,” said Braynon back in August. “And establishing the ground rules for maps that affect political futures is critical to protecting the integrity of the final product.”

View the just-released map here.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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