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Supreme Court approves new congressional map that splits Sarasota

In a 5-2 decision, the Florida Supreme Court approved a congressional redistricting map that splits Sarasota County into two districts.

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  • | 2:54 p.m. December 2, 2015
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Sarasota County will likely be split between two congressional contests in the 2016 election, after the Florida Supreme Court approved a redistricted map today.

Critics of the map, which pushes the southern half of the county into U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney’s district across the middle of the state, contend it shifts congressional power northward. Rep. Vern Buchanan will represent the rest of Sarasota County and part of Hillsborough County.

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis approved this new congressional map earlier this year.
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis approved this new congressional map earlier this year.

"Our opinion today—the eighth concerning legislative or congressional apportionment during this decade since the adoption of the landmark Fair Districts Amendment—should bring much needed finality to litigation concerning this state’s congressional redistricting that has now spanned nearly four years in state courts," said Justice Barbara J. Pariente in delivering court's opinion.

The approval means Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent will spend thousands of dollars to notify local voters of changes — a total that could reach as high as $250,000 if state Senate maps change substantially.

“In the worst-case scenario, we would have to notify all 280,000 registered voters,” Dent said in a previous interview with the Sarasota Observer.

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