Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau GOP Hosts Redistricting Seminars Goal to Preserve County Interests

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nassau GOP Hosts Redistricting Seminars Goal to Preserve County Interests

Article excerpt

Nassau County Republicans are concerned that Nassau County could come out on the short end if Florida's first redistricting of the 21st century shifts too much power to Duval County.

So the organization is hosting bipartisan redistricting seminars that began Feb. 27. The next one is at 6:30 p.m. March 27 at the Republican Party headquarters in Fernandina Beach.

"We need to be proactive, we need to educate the public about how voter lines are drawn, and to lobby for Nassau's continued independence from Duval County," said Jim Adams, an executive member of Nassau's Republican Party. "We want to make sure Nassau's interests and concerns are articulated and expressed when that decision is made."

Every decade, states are required by the Constitution to use new census results to redraw lines for their county, state and congressional districts. The Legislature will vote on the lines during the 2002 session. Because of a population boom, Florida is to receive two more U.S. House seats, which could throw into disarray the boundaries that define the state's 23 congressional districts. There's also discussion of amending the number of residents required to make up a district.

Doug Adkins, chairman of the Nassau County GOP's redistricting seminars, said the party will use feedback from the meetings to devise a recommendation for lawmakers. The party will present the recommendation to Nassau lawmakers in September, he said.

"The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to become an advocate for redistricting," he said. "This is about government for the people, by the people."

Both Adams and Adkins say Nassau County's primary concerns during redistricting include keeping all of Nassau County in District 4 and keeping intact the District 12 House seat held by state Rep. Aaron Bean, which covers Baker, Bradford, Duval, Nassau and Union counties. …

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