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Florida Senate President expresses support for eliminating Rep. Al Lawson's district

Wilton Simpson
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson says he thinks the state House's proposed congressional map is constitutional and will likely pass in his chamber.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson has expressed support for the House’s proposed congressional map — which would eliminate Democratic Congressman Al Lawson’s district.

The map would replace the African American access district with one in Duval County where Black voters can elect a candidate of their choice.

"I believe the House map is in order. I believe it’s constitutional," Simpson said, while speaking to reporters on Thursday. "I believe the speaker and his team have done a tremendous job putting that map together. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t pass that map.”

Simpson noted that he hasn't yet seen a full briefing of the map. The Senate has already passed its congressional map, which the House amended with its own plan on Thursday. The Senate's plan would keep Lawson's district largely intact.

The House is scheduled to vote on its congressional map on Friday. Unlike the Senate’s map, the House plan would eliminate a Black congressional district in the Orlando area.

After the House approves its map, the Senate will take it up before it goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. DeSantis has indicated that he'd veto a congressional map that keeps Lawson's district intact, describing it as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.