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DeSantis threatens to veto US House map if CD5 remains intact

Desantis with his hand out
Marta Lavandier
AP Photo
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference, Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, in Miami.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has again indicated that he’ll veto any U.S. House map that leaves north Florida’s African American voting district largely intact.

“We will not be signing any congressional map that has an unconstitutional gerrymander,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Marianna on Friday. “That is going to be the position that we stick to.”

The governor’s comments came one day after the state Supreme Court declined to issue an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of maintaining the current configuration of Congressional District 5 — which stretches from Gadsden County to Jacksonville, picking up Black voters in Leon and Duval Counties.

“That is not changing my position at all,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis submitted his own congressional map for consideration last month. His plan would carve up the district into four separate districts, obliterating Black congressional voting power in the region.

The state Senate has passed a map that leaves the district mostly intact, and the state House is preparing to consider a plan that also largely maintains the district’s current lines. Next Friday, the House Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee will take up the proposed map. The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday, but was pushed back to give members more time to review the proposed plan.

Valerie Crowder is a freelance journalist based in Tallahassee, Fl. She's the former ATC host/government reporter for WFSU News. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.