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Former House Speaker: GOP Had 'Expectation Of Participating' In Redistricting

Cannon and King
The Florida Channel

Former Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon took the witness stand Wednesday in the suit over the state’s congressional district boundaries. Cannon admits to knowing his staff met with Republican operatives—but he denies anything improper happened at those meetings.

As Cannon’s former redistricting head, Alex Kelly, testified last week, Kelly met at Republican Party of Florida headquarters with several GOP operatives twice before congressional district map drawing began.

Cannon says he knew about those meetings. And his reason for blessing them was so everyone could figure out how to proceed after voters approved constitutional amendments 5 and 6 prohibiting political considerations in redistricting.

“The people that were at this meeting were both—some of them were friends, some of them were acquaintances. But all of them would have probably had an expectation of participating in redistricting, absent 5 and 6, and I thought it was important that everyone know what the rules were," Cannon said. 

Cannon says he had fought adoption of the so-called Fair Districts Amendments in the first place because he thought they were poorly drafted and would lead to lawsuits like the one he’s testifying in.