Al Lawson Files to Run for Florida’s 2nd Congressional District After Redistricting Fight

Congressman Al Lawson (D-FL-5) has filed to run in Florida’s second congressional district against incumbent Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL-2). Lawson currently holds the seat for district five, but the months-long congressional redistricting fight to preserve the boundaries of district five was secured in favor of the new maps earlier this month. Therefore, Lawson is seeking to unseat Dunn.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has backed the redistricting process including proposing the boundary changes for district five, claiming that it was an unconstitutional, racial-based gerrymander. District five, as of right now, snakes from Tallahassee across North Florida to Jacksonville’s northside. It comprises a majority minority district.

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Florida Democrats Criticize Congressional Redistricting as Legislature Reconvenes

Numerous Florida Democrats and officials criticized the Florida Legislature’s process to approve the new congressional maps as the legislature reconvened Monday. Legislative leaders, last week announced they would be working on the new maps entirely proposed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) office and would not be creating their own.

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Pennsylvania Senate Panel Votes to Implement Changes to Improve Voter Records

Ryan Aument

A committee of the GOP-run Pennsylvania Senate voted Wednesday to change the state’s voter-records system as recommended by a Democratic former state auditor general.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Aument (R-Lititz), passed the State Government Committee seven to four, with all Republicans and no Democrats backing the measure.

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Ruling Prompts Pennsylvania Senate Legislation to Limit Court’s Redistricting Power

Senator David G. Argall

One day after Wednesday’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision imposing a Democrat-favored congressional map, state Senator David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) is legislating to limit similar future rulings.

Argall, who chairs the Senate State Government Committee, has asked colleagues to cosponsor a measure disallowing any congressional-district plan ordered by a court to remain in effect after the election cycle for which it was enacted.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Picks Democrat-Favored Congressional Map

Democrats celebrated and Republicans demurred Wednesday after the Democrat-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court selected the state’s new congressional map.

In so doing, the court overturned a decision earlier this month by Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough (R) to allow implementation of a redistricting plan passed by the GOP-led General Assembly but vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf (D). The initial version of the legislature-approved map was drawn by a private citizen, Amanda Holt of Lehigh County, though legislators modified her plan somewhat.

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Considers Congressional Maps, Asked to Consider State-House Districts as Well

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court, deliberating over oral arguments made last Friday, will soon decide the congressional-district boundaries that apply in next year’s elections.

State House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Bellefonte) has meanwhile asked the court to strike down a newly enacted map containing districts for his own legislative chamber.

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Commonwealth Court Judge Chooses Citizen-Drawn Congressional Map Favored by GOP Legislature

Pennsylvania Capitol Building

Because Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor and GOP-controlled legislature couldn’t agree on a congressional redistricting plan, a Commonwealth Court judge has stepped in and chosen one favored by the latter.

Judge Patricia A. McCullough (R), who was charged individually with selecting a new congressional map from among several proposed by state officials and nongovernmental actors, issued a 228-page report explaining her decision.

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State Representative Jerry Sexton: ‘We Need to Get Back to a Representative Government and Quit Letting the Lobbyists and These Big Organizations Take over Our State House’

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Representative Jerry Sexton in studio to talk about his re-election, K12 education, and agreeing that the federal government should keep their education money.

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Tennessee General Assembly Gives Redistricting Plans to Governor, Democrats Repeat Plans to Sue

The General Assembly has officially transmitted the passed redistricting plans to Governor Lee for his signature.

Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the Senate Randy McNally signed the new Senate legislative district and congressional district bills on Wednesday, January 26. He signed the state house district bill on Thursday, January 27. State House Speaker Cameron Sexton signed all three bills on January 27. They were then transmitted to Governor Lee for action on the same day.

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Gov. Wolf Vetoes Pennsylvania Congressional Map

On Thursday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) vetoed a proposed new congressional-district map passed by the Republican-run state legislature.

The governor’s decision effectively turns over the selection of a new map to the state judiciary. The Republican-run Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has indicated it would intervene if Wolf and lawmakers failed to agree on how the new districts will be reshaped. But even if that court chooses the reapportionment plan passed by the General Assembly, Wolf’s party may ultimately get its way by appealing to the Democrat-controlled state Supreme Court.

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper Reacts to His Brother U.S. Representative Jim Cooper’s Retirement From Congress

Shortly after Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper announced that he was not seeking re-election, his brother, Nashville Mayor John Cooper gave his reaction.

In a tweet, Mayor Cooper said, “This is a loss, both for Nashville and Washington. Jim is a leader with deep expertise and a great heart.”

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Tennessee State Senate Approves House Legislative District Maps

In their final vote on redistricting, the Tennessee State Senate has approved the state house legislative district maps by a vote of 23-6.

The new district map proposal for the State House was the remaining item on the Senate’s redistricting agenda. The new maps now head to Governor Lee’s desk for his signature.

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Tennessee House Approves Redistricting Proposals

The Tennessee State House approved their congressional and legislative redistricting proposals on Monday evening. The vote was 70-27, 70-26, and 70-26 on the house legislative district, senate legislative district, and congressional redistricting plans, respectively.

As has been a longstanding tradition in the Tennessee General Assembly, the House deferred to the the Senate’s plan on the new senate legislative district boundaries and the Senate is doing the same on the state house legislative district boundaries. The Senate approved the congressional and house legislative district proposals on January 20 and will vote on the house district boundaries on Wednesday, January 26, 2022.

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Tennessee U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election

Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) announced on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection.

This comes in the wake of the Tennessee General Assembly’s passage of the new redistricting maps, which split Nashville amongst three congressional districts. Under the old maps, the city of Nashville comprises the bulk of the 5th Congressional District.

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New Congressional Map Passes Pennsylvania Senate; Wolf’s Veto Anticipated

A proposed congressional map passed by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier this month passed the state Senate unchanged on Monday, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

In urging colleagues to approve the redistricting plan, Senate State Government Committee Majority Chairman David Argall (R-Mahanoy City) emphasized that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has insisted on enactment of a new map by January 30. The court has indicated it will select a map if Gov. Tom Wolf (D) does not sign one by that date. 

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Pennsylvania Legislature Must Pass, and Governor Must Sign, Congressional Map Monday to Meet Department’s Deadline

Pennsylvania’s Republican-led state Senate and Gov. Tom Wolf (D) must approve a congressional map Monday in order to meet a deadline set by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Last summer, then-Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica Degraffenried (D) announced that her department wanted new congressional districts enacted before January 24 so election officials and candidates may adequately prepare for the May 17, 2022 primaries. Lawmakers redesign districts every decade according to population changes reflected in U.S. Census data, whose release last year stalled several months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Population trends dictate that the Keystone State will lose one congressional district out of its present eighteen. 

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Tennessee Senate Passes Congressional Redistricting Plan, State House May Pass on Monday

The Tennessee Senate passed their congressional redistricting plan, which splits up Nashville amongst three congressional districts as well as the senate legislative redistricting plan. Both plans passed the Tennessee Senate by a vote of 26-5.

Amendments were added to both plans, SB0781 and SB0780, providing more detail on the district lines.

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Pennsylvania House Republicans Pass a Mostly Citizen-Drawn Congressional Map

Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives yesterday passed a new congressional map, though without the support of any Democrats and with indications of disapproval from Gov. Tom Wolf (D). 

Two southeastern Republican representatives, Chris Quinn (Media) and Todd Stephens (Horsham) joined the Democrats in opposition. The plan must pass the GOP-led state Senate and receive the governor’s signature to go into effect this year.

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Pennsylvania Courts Deal Blows to Progressives on Election Review and Redistricting

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court green-lighted the state Senate Republicans’ election probe this week; the state Supreme Court has meanwhile declined to take up the remapping of congressional districts. 

As a result of the Commonwealth Court’s ruling, the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee may proceed with its subpoenas of voter records. The Supreme Court’s decision means Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will likely have to work out a compromise with the Republican state legislature on congressional reapportionment.

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Pennsylvania House Committee Passes Bills to Reform Redistricting and Elections, Democrats Demur

Seth Grove

Yesterday, a Pennsylvania House of Representatives panel passed a series of redistricting and election reforms, including a bill establishing a citizens’ commission for redrawing legislative districts.

The redistricting bill, sponsored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-PA-York), chair of the House State Government Committee which vetted the measure, would ditch the current process for creating legislative-district maps. Such maps are drawn anew every decade in response to population shifts revealed by the U.S. Census. Presently, a five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission (LRC), made up of Republican and Democratic leaders from both state-legislative chambers and chaired by an appointee of the state Supreme Court, oversees district remapping.

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Pennsylvania Secretary of State Suggests in Lawsuit Response That Court Should Draw Congressional Districts

Veronica Degraffenreid

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid (D), in answering a lawsuit concerning congressional redistricting Monday, indicated interest in having the state Supreme Court once again redraw district lines.

Petitioners have complained of an impasse between the Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the GOP-led General Assembly on creating new districts and Degraffenreid’s attorneys have suggested agreement on the plaintiffs’ suggestion that Pennsylvania’s high court must finally decide.

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First Maps of Florida’s New Congressional Districts Released

Florida State Capitol

The first look at Florida’s new congressional maps have been released, and Florida’s newest district could have Polk County existing within its own congressional district. Florida currently has 27 districts but gained one after the 2020 census.

Congressional District 15, which is currently occupied by Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL-15), represents northern Polk County, southern Lake County, and an eastern portion of Hillsborough County. Franklin could be inclined to run for re-election in the newest congressional district as he is a resident of Lakeland, Polk County’s largest city.

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Florida Lawmakers Launch Congressional Redistricting

Florida Senate Capitol

As a result of the 2020 census, Florida will gain one additional congressional seat, and Florida lawmakers will begin the process to redraw district lines in the upcoming fall committee weeks with the 2022 legislative session beginning in January.

“Prior to the start of the 2022 Regular Session the Legislature will hold interim committee meetings, at which time the committees that conduct the redistricting and reapportionment processes may meet,” according to the Florida Senate’s redistricting site.

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