JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4JAX is taking a closer look at the redrawn congressional districts in North Florida.
Political pundits said the new boundaries for Congressional Districts 4 and 5 favor Republicans. And for Jacksonville, it could be the first time in several decades that a Democrat has not been part of the Jacksonville Congressional Delegation.
There has been so much confusion with the new congressional lines, like what district is where and who is running. Now we have answers and many are now saying for both districts -- it’s a Republican shoo-in.
When News4JAX interviewed Corrine Brown last week, talking about her run for Congress in Orlando, she made it clear she would not stand a chance of winning in Jacksonville. She said it is not because of her felony conviction, but because she is a Democrat.
“You’re not ever gonna end up with a Democratic person. You have been gerrymandered. We have had a Democratic seat in Duval County for 74 years, and when you look at how Duval has been gerrymandered, now you can’t even get a moderate Republican. That’s why I’m not (running in Jacksonville), it’s a suicidal mission.”
The boundaries for District 4 include very Republican-leaning areas. Al Lawson has represented some of the Duval County portions of the district. He is no longer running in Jacksonville but is running for a Tallahassee-area district instead.
In District 4, for the upcoming primaries, there are two Democrats: Tony Hill and perennial candidate LaShonda Holloway.
There are also three Republicans running: Erick Aguilar, Aaron Bean and Jon Chuba. Also, one write-in candidate for the general election -- Gary Koniz.
The new lines don’t look good for Democrats, but News4JAX Political Analyst Rick Mullaney said given the interest in the November election you can’t rule anything out.
“This year in November, with the midterms, expect a bigger turnout,” Mullaney said. “A much bigger turnout than in local elections in District 4 that could help the congressional candidates there because although it favors the Republicans those registrations are much more even. If there is a big turn out it could make Democrats much more competitive in that congressional district.”
But what you can rule out is a Democratic win in Congressional District 5. That’s because there are no Democrats.
Above is the map of the new district -- it has an even stronger Republican base than before.
Its expected Incumbent John Rutherford will win, but there are two other Republican challengers in the primary: Leigha Lopez and Mara Macie.
News4JAX spoke with Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan. He said redistricting has been a nightmare, but that they are ready.
Primary elections will be held on Aug. 23.