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Jacksonville City Council President Tommy Hazouri.

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Democrats to control Jacksonville City Council redistricting committee

Duval Democrats to drive the new map.

Duval County Republicans balked when the Jacksonville City Council elected Democrat Tommy Hazouri to be its president, especially in light of a GOP supermajority on the body.

They likely won’t be thrilled by the composition of the City Council’s redistricting committee either, which will include three Democrats among its five members.

While Democrats have a growing plurality advantage over Republicans in the voter rolls, the City Council itself has been in a Republican hammerlock for years.

Despite that, it will be Democrats taking the lead when it comes to the new maps for Jacksonville City Council and Duval County School Board seats.

Chairman Garrett Dennis and Council members Reggie Gaffney and Brenda Priestly-Jackson comprise the Democratic contingent, while a pair of Republicans, Randy DeFoor and Randy White, round out the panel.

The Jacksonville City Council has five at-large seats, with just one occupied by a Democrat, Hazouri, a former Mayor who proves the exception to the rule.

Of the fourteen district seats, Republicans hold nine of them. Of the five that Democrats hold, including all three represented on the redistricting panel, four are historically mapped as minority-access seats.

Due to term limits, none of the five members of the committee were in office a decade ago when redistricting last occurred.

Hazouri urged the committee to get a “head start” on its work, despite the fact that 2020 Census results won’t be available until next year.

“I want the committee to be prepared with a timeline so that they can be working with the Planning Department, utilizing their expertise as we draft an equitable and fair reapportionment plan for this decade.”

“I am not one to wait until the last minute to begin the process, this is too important for our School Board and the City Council and making certain that it is transparent and receives Elected Officials and public participation moving forward,” Hazouri added.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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