Jacksonville’s Mayor is weighing in on legal developments that could see a path toward a Democratic congressional seat in North Florida.
Democrat Donna Deegan says she is “hopeful this lawsuit will be successful and give Black voters in Jacksonville the ability to elect the candidate of their choice.”
Parties in Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute v. Byrd agreed to a joint stipulation agreement in the legal challenge against what plaintiffs call “unconstitutional congressional maps.”
The case focuses on the former boundaries of Florida’s 5th Congressional District that ran from the Tallahassee area to downtown Jacksonville. The challenge to the maps passed in 2022 by the Legislature could restore that district, thus giving Black voters in North Florida a chance at representation.
Jacksonville is currently divided between two safe Republican congressional seats, with Duval County’s North and West sides yoked to Nassau and Clay County since 2022 to create a seat represented by Fernandina Beach’s U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean.
Previously, much of that area was represented by former U.S. Reps. Al Lawson (CD 5) and Corrine Brown, but a redistricting map insisted upon by Gov. Ron DeSantis ended Duval’s tradition of having at least one Democrat-controlled seat in Congress.
Lawson has already suggested he might want to run again for the seat should it be reinstated. The former Congressman endorsed Deegan for Mayor this year, but Deegan’s not offering a preemptive endorsement for him or anyone else, saying she doesn’t “want to make predictions about a hypothetical district or field of candidates.”