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Congressional District Trial Begins

Blaise Gainey

A Republican strategist took the stand Monday marking the start of a trial over how Florida’s congressional districts are drawn Consultant Marc Reichelderfer is affiliated with a group plaintiffs argue helped gerrymandered certain districts.  During the hearing League of Women Voters Attorney David King suggested Reichelderfer had a role in drawing the districts: 

“Would it be correct that around December 3, 2010 there was a meeting of a group of consultants with Mr. Kelly and Mr. Clark of the legislature," King asked.

“I believe that’s the case yes sir,” Reichelderfer answered.

Plaintiffs in the case argue Florida’s congressional districts don’t comply with constitutional requirements that they be compact and adhere to geographic boundaries. Voters approved the so-called “Fair Districts” amendments in 2010. Defenders of the maps say they are fair—and point to the ouster of former Congressman Allen West—who was drawn into a new district and lost his reelection campaign. Arguments in the case are expected to last two weeks. Drawing congressional districts can make a big change in who wins district seats.