The two new proposed House maps could have Democratic Reps. Joy Goff-Marcil and Anna V. Eskamani squaring off in a primary to stay in office, while also creating several districts around Central Florida that have neither incumbents nor serious challengers running yet.
Both redistricting drafts, released Monday, are likely to be tinkered with as they go through the House Redistricting Committee and its State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee.
Both maps renumber districts for all Central Florida House incumbents, from the northern suburbs of Orlando in Volusia County to the southern suburbs in Osceola County; and from eastern Lake County through Orange County to the Space Coast in Brevard County. Everyone in Central Florida running for the Florida House in the 2022 election would have to refile for a new district number, based on these maps.
Goff-Marcil and Eskamani appear to be the only incumbents who are currently at risk of being redistricted into the same election. Both maps reconfigure north and central Orange County representation by creating a new House District 42. It would stretch from Maitland, where Goff-Marcil lives now representing House District 30, through central Orlando, where Eskamani lives, representing House District 47.
On both maps, Goff-Marcil’s Republican challenger, Drake Wuertz of Altamonte Springs, would be moved out to face Republican Rep. David Smith of Winter Springs in a primary in House District 38. The maps have that district represent south-central Seminole County, including the part that has been in Goff-Marcil’s area. Eskamani’s Republican challenger, David Dwyer of Orlando, would move into HD 42 with Eskamani and Goff-Marcil.
Elsewhere, the proposed maps present possible new opportunities.
House District 27 would stretch northwest from DeBary in Volusia County to take in the vast Ocala National Forest and cities around it. One map has it also take in the lake cities of northeastern Lake County, which would make it the home district for Republican Rep. Keith Truenow. But on another map, those lake cities and Truenow’s home would go into the new House District 26, covering northern Lake County, leaving no incumbents in the new HD 27.
Just south of there, on both maps, a new House District 39 would cover northwestern Orange County, including Apopka and part of Winter Garden. None of the incumbents nor anyone else who has filed to run for the House lives there.
In southern Orange County, both maps combine pieces of several districts to create a new House District 44, which would serve the county’s southern communities of Hunters Creek, Meadow Woods and Lake Nona.
The current district of Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia, House District 50, would be carved up to form two new districts. Proposed House District 30 would represent the Brevard County portion of Plasencia’s district, stretching from Titusville through Mims, New Smyrna Beach and Port Orange. Proposed House District 35 would represent much of his Orange County constituency, anchored by the booming eastern Orange County communities of Waterford Lakes and Avalon Park, then sprawling across the largely rural areas of eastern Orange and Osceola counties.
Plasencia cannot seek re-election due to term limits. There are a bevy of candidates who’ve filed to run there, and they would be split between those two districts and possibly the new HD 44.