“The courts did not accept the testimony of the residents of Northwest Florida,” said Gaetz, chairman of the Senate’s Reapportionment Committee. “The court accepted the arguments of the League of Women Voters and the Democrats that Northwest Florida be divided by north-south lines rather than east-west lines.”
The Florida Senate is reconvening on Wednesday to redraw district lines per Supreme Court ruling as ordered by Gov. Rick Scott’s proclamation.
Gaetz did say that if he and Evers are drawn into the same district, he’s prepared for an election battle.
“It’s entirely possible Sen. Evers will be in the same district,” Gaetz said. “I like Greg Evers. He’s a friend. But if Sen. Evers and I are in the same district I would look forward to the contest. I love to campaign.”
About the district lines—currently, District 2, represented by Evers, includes Holmes and Washington counties and runs through Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay across the northern parts of the counties. Likewise, District 4, represented by Gaetz, runs along the more southern areas along the coastal regions of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay.
Since the Supreme Court ruled a north-south division, it appears that this would establish a single district encompassing all of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and part of Okaloosa County. Subsequently, a second district would include the remaining portions of Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and potentially other additional areas.
Since Evers lives in Baker and is, like Gaetz, an Okaloosa County resident, this newer version of redistricting would have the two senators campaigning against one another for the senate seat within the newly drawn district.