The Leon County Democratic Executive Committee — Tallahassee’s official Democratic Party — has formally adopted a position against dividing the City of Tallahassee into districts or adding City Commission seats.
The motion passed by an overwhelming margin, with nearly 90% voting in favor at the group’s January general body meeting Monday.
“Expanding the Commission and districting Tallahassee voters would be an expensive, divisive waste of time,” said State Committeeman and former DEC Chair John Hedrick.
“Proud to join the vast majority of my Democratic colleagues in taking a strong position against Commission-packing and undemocratically dividing our community against itself through a needless districts scheme.”
“Last year, I publicly debated leading City districts proponent Florida Republican Party Chairman Evan Power about this exact issue. It was clear then and it’s clear now: dividing our community into districts would represent a right wing power grab,” said Leon DEC Chair Ryan Ray.
“Diluting Tallahassee’s city representation and diminishing Black voting power is exactly parallel to threats we see on Democratic voters from the DeSantis administration.”
“Much like nobody in Tallahassee asked for Congressman Al Lawson’s seat to be stripped away by partisan redistricting, no one is asking for this. Hard to understand why this is even a conversation,” concluded Ray.
“Despite claims they would increase representation, districts would actually strengthen the voices of big money special interests at the expense of grassroots efforts,” said DEC Treasurer Will Crowley.
“Districts and Commission expansion would allow developers to cut $1,000 checks from multiple LLCs to even more campaigns. As evidenced by the big Democratic victory last week in House District 35, grassroots movements can win when we’re focused — not divided across even more costly elections.”
You can listen to the Ryan Ray-Evan Power debate from September 2023 here.