JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has put out his proposed map for Florida’s congressional seats, there’s talk Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry could have his sights set on one of those dramatically redrawn districts.
According to a story published by Florida Politics on Wednesday, the term-limited mayor is interested in running for Congress.
Next week, state lawmakers will consider the map in a special session, but Democrats say it’s already a done deal, a plan to help Republicans like Curry.
Curry has not said if he plans to pursue a political career after his term is up. News4JAX caught up with Curry, who is usually out front and will take any questions, on Thursday but he took off following a press conference without taking any questions. It was a news conference about the Jacksonville Icemen hockey team going to the playoffs and the mayor was there suggesting everyone grow a beard to support the team. But right afterward the mayor ducked out behind a curtain.
Curry’s staff said he needed to meet up with his family and that the questions News4JAX had were concerning what they called a “non-map” because the map proposed by Gov. DeSantis hasn’t been approved.
In the map proposed by DeSantis, Jacksonville is split across two districts, District 5 (in purple below) and District 4 (in yellow).
It’s dramatically different from the current map where a portion of Duval County is in what’s currently called District 5 (blue on the map below) and stretches to the Tallahassee area.
The seat is currently held by Democrat Al Lawson.
State Senator Audrey Gibson said next week’s special session is just a formality and that Democrats will lose out.
“It is a done deal for next week and potentially with the court. It’s pretty much a debacle,” Gibson said.
The new maps are expected to be challenged in court.
And with the primary about four months away, local election workers are preparing.
Chief Elections Officer Robert Phillips said they are already working on drawing new precinct boundary lines for local city council and state districts and they could plug in new congressional maps as well. Phillips said with a court challenge it should not make a difference in the upcoming election.
The special legislative session starts on Tuesday and the Primary for the congressional seat and other elected offices is in August while Mayor Curry’s term is up in July of 2023.