On Thursday, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature passed Gov. Ron DeSantis’ favorite congressional map, which would dismantle a Black Opportunity District and give Republicans the chance to win several more House seats in the US election. this autumn.
The state Senate voted 24 to 15, along party lines, to adopt the 28-district map in a special session on Wednesday, and the State House voted 68 to 38, also along party lines, to adopt it on Thursday. DeSantis is expected to sign it into law later this week, while a voter advocacy group has already said he will take legal action.
Florida is the largest state yet to complete its 2020 census-based congressional map, which gave the state an additional seat. The map could help determine control of the House, where Republicans need a net gain of five seats to become a majority, redistricting experts said.
Thursday’s vote followed a month-long campaign by DeSantis to split the Jacksonville-area seat currently held by Democratic Representative Al Lawson into several Republican-leaning districts.
DeSantis vetoed a previous plan that had been approved by the Legislative Assembly because it kept the Lawson District, which stretches from Jacksonville to Tallahassee, intact. In a previous court battle, the Florida Supreme Court approved this district to offer black voters in North Florida the opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice.