How to divide up Tampa Bay’s congressional seats is a major point of contention between the Florida House’s and Senate’s redistricting maps, according to an analysis of the latest maps approved by the respective legislative bodies.
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Reapportionment passed Joint Resolution 1176 outlining its congressional redistricting plan. According to this legislation, Tampa Bay’s congressional seats would look like:
Under this map, which looks a lot like the current map, Kathy Castor’s district is based mostly in Hillsborough and only eats up the south (read: African American) portion of Pinellas County. Bill Young’s seat makes up most of Pinellas, including most of downtown and northeast St. Petersburg.
This plans stands in stark contrast to the three proposed plans moving forward in the Florida House, approved by the House Redistricting Committee on Monday. All three versions have Kathy Castor’s seat straddling both Hillsborough and Pinellas, moving Bill Young mostly out of St. Petersburg’s downtown and key economic centers. Here’s what all three maps look like:
St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, several Pinellas House members and the St. Petersburg Area of Chamber are all said to be opposed to these maps, which would essentially create a solidly Republican congressional seat in eastern Hillsborough.
Rectifying what to do with Tampa Bay’s congressional seats promises to be a sticking point in the already contentious redistricting process.