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.