As Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis decides the fate of virtually all the Congressional districts in Central Florida, some of the area’s Democratic state lawmakers gathered inKissimmee and Orlando to decry the possibility that Hispanics may lose power.
Lewis is trying to decide how to best redraw the boundaries for two congressional districts he ruled were illegally gerrymandered, CD5, which snakes from Jacksonville to Orlando, and CD10 which mostly covers Lake County and western Orange County.
But the official alternative map offered by the Florida Legislature Wednesday redraws those districts plus five others, to move voters around.
In doing so, State Sen. Darren Soto and state Reps. Linda Stewart, Victor Torres and Ricardo Rangel argued at press conferences Wednesday, the Legislature’s map waters down the Hispanic vote concentration in the one Central Florida Congressional district that has an emerging potential Hispanic majority population, CD10, covering Osceola County, much of East Orange and part ofPolk County.
Soto, who took the minority Democrats lead in the matter last week by introducing an alternative map for redistricting, said Wednesday that the official map’s proposed new boundaries for CD10 would reduce the Hispanic population from 43 percent to 39 percent by eliminating the communities of Poinciana and Davenport from CD10.