The silly season of Florida politics just took another turn with the ruling from Judge Terry P. Lewis that Florida congressional maps must be redrawn as according to the judge two districts are “invalid.” The judge decided that district 5 currently held by Democrat Corrine Brown was drawn to benefit Republicans. That is an amazing finding for a district that is 180 miles from top to bottom and winds through eight Florida counties. The district goes through heavily minority areas from Jacksonville to just north of Orlando. There are points in the district that are on a mile or so wide as it makes its way through the state. It is difficult to believe that this district is designed to benefit any candidate let alone a Republican. The current PVI (Cook Partisan Voting Index) on district 5 is D +16. So seems that the judges effort to keep Corrine Brown in that seat may not be needed.
It seems that the good judge like many have seen the writing on the wall as the two Republicans vying for the opportunity to face off against Corrine Brown are gaining support through the district. Both Glo Smith, a Black conservative woman and Twue Lowe, a Vietnamese-American are due to face off in the Republican primary on August 26th. Judge Lewis has required the new maps be done on or before August 15th.
The other “invalid” district is a district currently held by Republican and Tea Party supported Daniel Webster. The 10th district was a long held district by Republican CW Bill Young and neighbors the other contested district 5.
The state is scheduled to appeal the judge’s ruling.