Republicans embrace DeSantis’ congressional map as opponents call it illegal, racist

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The first day of the special session on congressional redistricting exposed how raw and divisive the next few months may be in Florida politics as the congressional map drawn by the governor was advanced by two Republican-controlled committees Tuesday, while Democrats and minority voting advocates blasted the maps as a “racist” attempt to send the state backwards, and likely to result in lawsuits. “I am no longer calling it a culture war. It is racist tactics which the governor is doing right now,” said Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, at a rally of about 100 supporters and Black lawmakers on the steps of Florida’s historic Capitol in Tallahassee hours before the session began. “I am confident that we have seen this before, and we’ve been here before.” The governor’s chief map drawer revealed for the first time that the governor’s office hired a Republican redistricting expert to help craft the governor’s map, raising questions about whether the governor can defend the maps as having no partisan intent, as is required under state law.

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