Months ago we wrote about the challenge to the Florida congressional map that could shake up the 2016 House races. The Florida Supreme Court has now issued its ruling and has signed off on a new congressional map. While there is a federal lawsuit pending brought on by Representative Corrine Brown, most see the 2016 map sticking at least this cycle. The new map changes the outlook in five House races, which helps the Democrats' prospects of picking up additional seats. Two seats that suddenly swing in the other direction include the 10th district held by current House Freedom Caucus favorite Representative Dan Webster. His district lines now compose a district where 61% voted for President Obama in 2012. That margin is hard for even the most talented Republican to hold on. Webster is likely to retire or try his hand at another seat. The other seat that is prime for a Democratic pickup is the 13th district where Representative David Jolly is running for Senate and leaves it as an open seat. He must have seen the writing on the wall where Obama carried the new district lines with 55% of the vote. Former governor and Republican/ Independent and now Democrat Charlie Crist announced his intentions to seek the open seat. Crist is a long-time resident of the district and starts with an early advantage due to name identification, but he has lost hislast two races for political office.
Two other seats have changes but not as dramatic as the first two. The 26th district in South Florida represented by freshman Representative Carlos Curbelo is endangered with the new boundaries ticking up a few points towards the Democratic Party. Obama carried the newly formed district with 55% in 2012. Curbelo is likely to face Crist's running mate from 2014, businesswoman Annette Taddeo. The last seat that favors Democrats in this new map is the 7th District where long serving Representative John Mica faces his toughest challenge yet. The new district was split 49% between Romney and Obama in 2012 and he faces a formidable challenger in Democratic Banker Bill Phillips.
Though the map heavily favors Democrats, it's not all good news for the party. The new map seriously endangers rising star Representative Gwen Graham’s hold of the 2nd district. The lines make it nearly impossible for any Democrat to win and it is likely Graham will not run for re-election and save her efforts for a gubernatorial run in 2018. Graham was last year's Capitol Club Luncheon speaker and has been very supportive of NAHU's legislative agenda. The Democratic Party is in prime position to gain anywhere from one to four seats in the swing state of Florida in 2016.
Did you know...
…that there is less than a month left in the Top Guns’ recruiting contest to recognize NAHU members who recruit new HUPAC contributors. With only 9.6% of the NAHU membership currently contributing to HUPAC, there are a lot of potential contributors out there to be recruited! The program will recognize the member who recruits the most new contributors as well as the member who brings in the most new money. They will be recognized for their excellence at the 2016 Capitol Conference. See the current leaders in the inaugural year of the program by clicking here. For full details of rules and prizes, click here. It's not too late to jump in the race and be a top recruiter!