Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Candidates Await New Maps; Florida Redistricting Process Throws More Uncertainty into Political Races

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Candidates Await New Maps; Florida Redistricting Process Throws More Uncertainty into Political Races

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Dixon

With lawmakers in the early stages of redrawing Florida's political lines, candidates across the state are left with more questions than answers.

What will my district look like? Who will my constituents be? Will I even live in the district when the new maps are drawn?

"My team's biggest challenge is obviously we don't know where the lines are going to be," said Kim Kendall, a candidate for the Florida House.

Kendall lives in District 19 and is filed to run for that seat, which is held by incumbent state Rep. Mike Weinstein, R-Jacksonville. The district includes parts of Duval, St. Johns and Clay counties, but her situation is anything but cut-and-dry.

That seat needs to lose 18,950 people in redistricting. If they are taken from the southern portion, Kendall would likely run for the District 20 seat currently held by term-limited Rep. Bill Proctor. If they are taken from the north end, Weinstein would probably be drawn out of the seat.

"We've tried to just get out there early," Kendall said. "We are working about a four-county area now. We'll be ready."

Kendall is supported by state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. If she runs in District 20, she'll take on fellow Republican Mike Davis, who is Proctor's hand-picked replacement and doesn't have a geography problem. His Anastasia Island home will be in the district regardless of how it is redrawn.

Another District 20 candidate, Republican attorney Terry Shoemaker, also is waiting for the district lines to be drawn. He lives on the northern edge.

"If I walk across the street from my house, I'm in [District 19]," he said.

Though District 20 has to lose at least 45,275 people - it will shrink geographically - Shoemaker is not worried about being drawn out of the seat, because District 19 also must shrink. The bigger issue, he said, is not knowing exactly who he would represent because state Rep. …

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