ORLANDO, Fla. – Democrats are increasing vocal opposition to a congressional redistricting proposal from Gov. Ron DeSantis, which will be discussed during a special legislative session this week.
During a news conference on Monday, State Sen. Randolph Bracy claimed DeSantis has used intimidation tactics to get his plan passed.
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“The governor has threatened to ‘primary’ republican lawmakers that vote against this map,” Bracy said. “He also has threatened to veto all of their projects if they vote against his congressional maps.”
The legislature is taking on a once-a-decade mapping process but last week, leadership with the state House and Senate said in a joint statement that DeSantis would lead those efforts.
On Wednesday, the governor released his proposed map, which redraws some Democrat-controlled districts and could lead to Republicans picking up four seats in the House this fall.
“It is unfair, it’s unconstitutional and I thought it should be called out,” Bracy said.
DeSantis, however, has said his plan will prevent partisan redrawing by the legislature.
“We are not going to have a 200-mile gerrymander that divvies up people based on the color of their skin. That is wrong. That is not the way we have governed in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Miami last week.
Bracy acknowledged democrats don’t have the votes to block the plan and said a case has been filed where he believes the governor’s map will be overturned by a federal judge.
“It will be up to the courts like it was in 2016 where the courts drew the maps for the same reasons that it was gerrymandered to benefit republicans,” Bracy said. “At this point, we’ll be looking to the courts as a last stop.”
Florida’s special legislative on redistricting begins Tuesday.