STATEMENT BY SENATE PRESIDENT DON GAETZ REGARDING JUDGE LEWIS UPHOLDING THE NEW CONGRESSIONAL MAP
Tallahassee — Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) today released the following statement regarding Judge Terry Lewis’ ruling to uphold the congressional map recently passed by the Florida Legislature and to allow the 2014 elections to proceed as scheduled.
“We are grateful for Judge Lewis’ decision today to uphold the congressional district map and implementation schedule passed by a bipartisan majority during the recent special session.
“The court’s ruling affirms the constitutionally faithful work of our Senate and House redistricting committees, chaired by Senator Galvano and Representative Corcoran. This decision preserves the voting rights of millions of Floridians, including our overseas military and their families who have already cast ballots in this election as well as many thousands of in-state Floridians who have voted early and absentee.
“I particularly appreciate the advocacy of the Florida NAACP, which supported the Legislature throughout the legal proceedings and whose counsel argued effectively that if the plaintiffs would have prevailed, minority voting rights would be sacrificed in a partisan scheme to elect white Democrats.
“Thankfully, the court listened to supervisors of elections and the Secretary of State and rejected plaintiffs’ plan which would have thrown the 2014 elections into chaos and could have resulted in our state being without congressional representation for weeks or even months.
“Now that the court has ruled, the map has been upheld and the election can proceed in a fair and orderly manner, I am hopeful the redistricting issue can be put to rest. Of course, I realize there are those who will try to win in court elections they lose in the ballot box. I believe the people of Florida have been given fairness and finality by Judge Lewis’ decision and that going forward Democrats and Republicans ought to spend less time in the courtroom and more time working to build a better Florida.”
CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 339-7087