If Martin County moves south by one Senate District, Sen. Gayle Harrell plans to run in Senate District 29 in 2022.
The next election would mark the beginning of her second term. But the latest Senate district drafts have the Stuart Republican’s current district, Senate District 25, drifting north, losing its land in Palm Beach County and her home Martin County.
“Whatever district I am in, I will run in. It doesn’t matter what the number is,” Harrell told Florida Politics. “And as the lines move, I will meet the new constituents, and hopefully they will understand my positions and perhaps elect me.”
If Harrell wins re-election under the current proposed SD 29 borders, she would lose her St. Lucie County constituents, except those in southern Port St. Lucie. In their place, she would pick up more Palm Beach County residents.
That would leave SD 25 with no current candidate.
The shifting lines around the Treasure Coast are a function of the population growth in South Florida and districts getting forced north.
Boca Raton Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky, who currently represents SD 29, is also affected by the South Florida growth. However, on Friday she announced she would run in Senate District 34, as the latest drafts have it, for her second term.
An analysis of four Senate draft proposals by MCI Maps shows that 55% of the voters in the reimagined SD 29 voted for former President Donald Trump over President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, making it a relatively safe Republican seat.
Harrell sits on the Senate Congressional Reapportionment Subcommittee and plans to host a Zoom meeting in the coming weeks for constituents to give their input on the proposed congressional maps. However, she was open to constituents sharing their comments about the Senate maps as well.
“I would welcome their comments on anything,” Harrell said. “I think communication with constituents is extremely important, and they need to be part of this whole process as well.”