Florida's current 5th Congressional District, in all its snake-like glory
While we know much less than we don't know as far as the fate of Florida's congressional map is concerned, one thing's for sure: Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown is hosed. Long before the state Supreme Court's decision this month that struck down current district lines, Brown's serpentine abomination of a district had drawn heaps of scorn, as well as derision from every Democrat
named Corrine Brown. That's because the 5th takes in just about every black voter it can find along an absurd 200-mile corridor
from Jacksonville to Orlando, "bleaching" neighboring districts and making them safer for Republicans.
Brown's tried to hang on for dear life, though, and even joined with Republicans in an unsuccessful lawsuit to strike down the anti-gerrymandering "Fair Districts" amendments Florida voters passed into law back in 2010. (How's that for good government?) Predictably, she's lambasted the latest ruling, and now, unnamed operatives in both parties tell Roll Call's Emily Cahn, she may even file a lawsuit to delay implementation of a new map (but on what grounds, who can say?).
Yet no matter what she tries, Brown's time is up. If the 5th instead is drawn to sprawl west from Jacksonville toward the state capital of Tallahassee, that wouldn't just screw Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, whose 2nd District currently covers that turf. It would also devastate Brown, who would almost certainly face a primary challenge from another black politician out of Tallahassee. Cahn cites Mayor Andrew Gillum, who is just 35, as a possibility. That would set up a generational battle with the 68-year-old Brown, who has less than $22,000 in her campaign account.
We'll see what happens in just a couple of months: The court just bumped up its deadline by a month, meaning it now expects the legislature to produce new maps by Sept. 25 or else it'll whip out its own cartographic crayon. While it would suck to see Graham get the shaft, particularly after her impressive against-all-odds win during last year's GOP tsunami, if Brown also falls victim to the same forces, most Democrats won't be too unhappy.
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