By Bill Cortterell
Her Big Bend district was not one of the eight cited by the Florida Supreme Court in ordering the Legislature to redraw congressional boundaries, but Rep. Gwen Graham has a huge stake in the redistricting process.
The ruling last week hinged on the serpentine district of U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Jacksonville Democrat who, in 1992, was one of the first three black members of Congress Florida had sent to Washington since Reconstruction. District 5, even as it was revised in a special legislative session, ran from Jacksonville to Orlando, with tributaries embracing pockets of black voting population that virtually assured her re-election.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis approved a touched-up plan that did some nipping and tucking with Brown’s district and the adjoining Republican plat of U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster of Winter Garden. But in throwing out the remapping plan last Thursday, the 5-2 court majority said Lewis and the legislators could have done better by — among other things — stringing a minority-access district along the Georgia border from downtown Jacksonville to Chattahoochee.
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July 18, 2015