Growth Will Mean Redistricting In Escambia County, But When Remains To Be Seen

July 17, 2021

Escambia County’s five district boundaries could be redrawn this year, but for now officials are waiting on census data.

Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford said he has not yet received the 2020 census data; he told the Escambia County Commission this week that he expects to see the raw data by the middle of August. That will allow the commission to start discussion on new district boundaries by late August or early September, if they choose to work on an accelerated schedule.

Florida law dictates districts must be drawn in an odd year; elections are typically held in even years. The board will be required to complete redistricting by December 31, 2021, or wait until 2023.

District lines are drawn based upon population, not registered voters. Stafford expects districts will average about 64,000 voters each, a growth rate of about eight percent.


7 Responses to “Growth Will Mean Redistricting In Escambia County, But When Remains To Be Seen”

  1. MR REALITY on July 19th, 2021 6:30 pm

    CJ, people like you pandering are the problem. it is based upon PEOPLE, NOT the race of the people….

  2. Bill F on July 18th, 2021 3:32 pm

    If Pensaacola Beach is not removed from D4. I hope Ferry Pass will be/ Our needs are far different than Cordova Park and the beach

  3. Citizen on July 17th, 2021 10:57 pm

    Just do it. Don’ kick the can. Get it done by the end of the year. Get the budget figured out yesterday. Don’t worry about an Administrator search.
    Don’t worry what people say on facebook or in cartoons. Nobody cares.

    Mind over matter.

    The people that matter don’t mind and the people that mind don’t matter.

    Just do the work. Three of the commissioners will be there a few more years and D2 and D4 are really not our problem in NE.

    They will try to push D3 off the waterfront. Don’t let them. Maybe D3 can take over the City of Pensacola ;)

    It would be great if Bergosh takes over Perdido Key Beach, rejuvenates the four lane and gets the Porch creek Indians to put in a casino plus takes down the No Trespassing signs that are there illegally.

    These meeting maybe a little fun to watch if one likes that sort of thing.

  4. CJ Lewis on July 17th, 2021 9:05 pm

    The Florida Constitution requires that after each decennial census the county districts shall be divided “into districts of contiguous territory as nearly equal in population as practicable.” In Florida Attorney General Advisory Legal Opinion 74-359 Reapportionment of Commissioner Districts, Assistant Attorney General Jerry Oxner advised, “Redistricting of county commission districts is mandatory as soon as possible upon receipt of the decennial census….” Hard to see how the BOCC could get away with not getting the job done in 2021. [No need for outside help from aspiring County Executive El Supremo John Peacock and his hand-picked gang of gerrymanders.] Once the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office has the data, its staff can probably have a tentative district map put together very soon. District 2 Commissioner Doug Underhill has put forward a very interesting idea. He proposes that Pensacola Beach now part of District 4 be made part of the new District 2. In fact, Pensacola Beach is much more contiguous to District 2 (a few thousand feet away) than it is to District 4 (several miles away). I think that the BOCC should give the Supervisor of Elections David Stafford three starting guidelines. First, adopt Underhill’s recommendation and make Pensacola Beach part of District 2. Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key certainly do have far more in common as a “community of interest” than Pensacola Beach has in common with Downtown Pensacola. Second, keep all of the City of Pensacola (its own community of interest) in one county district. Right now, the City of Pensacola is gerrymandered among parts of Districts 2, 3 and 4. It is crazy. Third, ensure that District 3 has at least a 50% +1 Black population.

  5. L. B. on July 17th, 2021 11:32 am

    The 2020 Census data was not completed in 2020 due to the pandemic and shutdowns. I hope the ECC will have this done in 2023 to make it a fare count for the districts. There are a lot of people in district 5 that did not get registered with the Census last year.

  6. Anne on July 17th, 2021 8:32 am

    Wondering how much the super-building craze will impact this redistricting?
    Gentrification of downtown and creation of tract housing in middle and northern areas of the county along with growth near Navy Federal.
    Will be interesting to know how many more people we have in the area.
    Mr. Stafford and crew have quite a task at hand.
    Or, is there an “APP” for that?
    Still believe in going to my precinct to vote and one person one vote,
    Voter Identification is no problem.

  7. Melissa Pino on July 17th, 2021 7:52 am

    Thank you for your clear explanation, Mr. Reynolds. Mr. Stafford clearly laid out the law on redistricting at the COW, so people shouldn’t be misled by any mis- or disinformation that it simply has to happen this year. As you reported, it does not, however much some corners want to pretend that there are already three commissioners in firm support of getting it done by hook or by crook this year. That’s not what was said, at all.

    Things were already chaotic enough with the late census data (and it will also be insufficient census data, due to the difficulty census workers were under, however much the government touts it otherwise).

    Now we’ve got a couple of commissioners apparently lockstep with the downtown interests, and their charter committee, who have been trying to destabilize the BOCC in any way they can for the last year and a half. With an eye, of course, towards jamming another ill-fated FAC search into the Escambia administrator process, in the hopes that they can plant a person amenable to Downtown’s goal of either (1) an executive administrator who has power over the Board, de jure; or (2) someone with that de facto mentality.

    It’s one of the more ham fisted programs they have run in a while, which demonstrates it’s not running like clockwork behind the scenes, and they’ll be employing more and more harsh “PR” measures to try to convince Escambia citizens that it’s in our best interests to have the BOCC push this redistricting through while Downtown continues to try to blow up the County, and their professional strategists pump out fantasy plans in every direction in an attempt to confuse the public and put people back on their heels.

    Also, note to Escambia–the Delta variant is here and escalating. Whatever the result, there’s a good chance it will at least hamper the speed of some government functions. Rushing that redistricting would be a fools errand, and the majority of the commissioners are no fools, no matter how many of that sort Downtown throws in their direction to lobby them for extreme measures.

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