Matt Schellenberg: Legislators Not Putting Jacksonville Voters First in State House Redistricting

It is an absolute disappointment that the Florida House Committee on Redistricting has totally embarrassed itself with a district in Duval County that crosses the St. Johns River.

Crossing the St. Johns River over a three-mile bridge enables incumbent state Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville, to keep his seat but disfranchises people living in Jacksonville’s Southside. Has the committee never heard of community interest and having compact districts?

The plan being floated in Tallahassee eliminates a compact and community-centered district on the Southside and creates a district specifically designed for the benefit of political consultant Tim Baker’s wife Jessica Baker to continue her current campaign with no opposition. In fact, the Bakers are so confident of winning that they are already contacting legislators to pledge to back her to be the House speaker in six years.

Apparently, Duval County’s political leaders’ non-transparency is spreading to Tallahassee.

What a shame for all voters as legislators allow the corruption of fair, balanced and free elections continues to continue.

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