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District five could be getting a new representative

Congressional District 5 is majority Black voters
Posted at 12:30 AM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 00:30:59-05

TALLAHASSEE FLA. (WTXL) — Voting groups are now worried about redistricting in their area.

Every ten years legislators redistrict the state. Now Gov DeSantis is asking the Florida Supreme Court to consider his congressional map that impacts District five.

It's one of the most heavily black districts in the state.

It spans more than 200 miles across eight counties from Jacksonville to west of Tallahassee.

The fact that district five is up for grabs and those against the proposal said this could change representation for minority communities.

"It takes away a voice, it takes away a vote, it takes away representation."

Mutaqee Akbar, President of Tallahassee NAACP, said if they redistrict district five Congressman Al Lawson could potentially lose his seat.

Keith Simmonds, Political Science Professor at Florida A&M University said if representation is lost in district five he thinks it would be from a conscious effort.

"The lost of representation means you do not have the political representation by your representatives."

Simmonds said that's why redistricting is an important process.

"We are talking about citizens losing their constitutional rights to be fairly represented."

Simmonds said its up to the house and senate to agree on a congressional map but Gov. DeSantis has veto power.

Akbar feels if this change passes, minority communities will be impacted.

"Some people don't understand the needs of a FAMU, some people don't understand what the needs are for a Frenchtown or the impact of different parts of Jacksonville and again if we don't have that representation we miss out on that."

Gadsden and Leon counties make up some of district five.

Monday, Congressman Al Lawson also released a statement after Governor DeSantis requested an advisory opinion...it reads, in part..

"The Florida Supreme Court must resist being pulled into partisan disputes...as it would threaten its integrity and the very independence of the judicial branch."