With a new Democrat-leaning membership, the Orange County Legislative Delegation has tapped newly elected Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, to serve as its chair.

Legislative redistricting and a decade-long shift in voter registration helped re-define the legislative delegation in Florida’s fifth-largest county earlier this year. For years, Republicans managed to maintain a majority of the seats thanks to creative designs of House and Senate districts that snaked into GOP-leaning counties around Orange.

That changed after voter-adopted redistricting reforms, and now the majority of Orange County’s lawmakers are Democrats. Thompson is also the first African-American woman to ever chair the group.

“I look forward to working with the delegation members to develop bi-partisan, common-sense solutions for the challenges we face in Orange County and the state of Florida,” she said in a statement.

Thompson emerged from a hard-fought Democratic primary against Sen. Gary Siplin’s wife, Victoria Siplin, and served for six years in the House. She is a retired college administrator and Founder of the Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture.

Click here for the Orlando Sentinel story

Geraldine Thompson tapped as new Orange delegation chair
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