Florida finally has a congressional map in place for the 2016 cycle after months of uncertainty and nearly four years of legal battles over the old district lines.
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon accepted a map proposed in October by Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis that will likely nudge a couple of the state’s House seats in Democrats’ favor. The 5-2 ruling didn’t surprise the state’s political observers, but it offered clarity for a spate of lawmakers wondering whether they would face a more hostile political environment in their new districts.
Now that the dust has settled, several incumbents will face uphill battles for reelection—unless they jump into a nearby district more favorable to their party.
One of the lawmakers most affected by the new lines is Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, who finds herself in a district that Mitt Romney would have won with 65 percent of the vote in 2012. The freshman was one of two Democrats nationwide who defeated a House Republican incumbent in 2014, but she now faces a pivotal decision as someone viewed as a future statewide candidate.
On the Republican side, Rep. Daniel Webster, whose new district would have been carried by President Obama with 61 percent in 2012, has said he’ll consider running in the nearby Republican-leaning district being vacated by retiring Rep. Richard Nugent. Rep. Carlos Curbelo will have to run in a 53-percent Obama district, while the partisan numbers on Rep. John Mica’s district are virtually even.