Florida's Lawmakers Play Musical Chairs As Districts Change


Daytona Beach, FL - If you’re a state House representative or candidate, you might be playing a rather interesting game of musical chairs now.

Across the state, some lawmakers and candidates have been refiling their candidacies for the appropriate districts in the new House map. One of those lawmakers is Rep. Webster Barnaby (R-Deltona), who has now filed in House District 29. That’s because his current district—House District 27—will be changed up by District 29. 

The change could end up putting most of western Volusia County, with the exceptions of DeBary, DeLeon Springs, and Orange City, under 29 instead of 27. So far, Barnaby is facing three other candidates in that race.

Parts of southern Volusia County and northern Brevard will also be covered under a new configuration for District 30. The district—at least in its new proposed configuration—doesn’t exist yet, but it will run from Port Orange down to the middle of Titusville, essentially splitting the city in half. Filed for that race is Robyn Hattaway, the current commissioner for the Canaveral Port Authority, and Port Orange Councilman Chase Tramont.

Other areas undergoing major changes include most of southern Brevard, which will be represented through House District 33. No one has properly filed for that spot. Northern Seminole County will also become part of House District 36. The current incumbent, Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Lake Mary) is terming out, but his wife, Rachel Plakon, has moved her candidacy there from what was the old District 29.

The Local Game Of Musical Chairs

Tramont originally had plans to run for the District 2 seat on the Volusia County Council, which will be left vacant come election time as its current representative, Billie Wheeler, said she is no longer seeking a reelection bid. But because of redistricting, Tramont is essentially playing his own game of musical chairs. 

He told News Daytona Beach he filed his candidacy for District 30 because, with the change, he would have to move to run for District 2 for the county.

“It wasn’t a situation where I was willing to uproot my family for a political office,” said Tramont.

The new district will keep Tramont in the Port Orange area. He’s also gone out to meet some possible constituents and learned that they actually share in some of the problems Volusia residents deal with. 

“(Because) they’re similar problems that the entire state has to address,” said Tramont.

He referred to issues such as water quality, stormwater runoff, and the pollution and seagrass die-off currently going on in the Indian River Lagoon, all problems he wants to address by working across the aisle with Democrats (as Tramont is a registered Republican). He also discussed improving infrastructure around the Volusia and Brevard areas.

 “I’ve made it very clear to the folks in Brevard that I plan to make Brevard every bit as home as Volusia,” said Tramont. “I’ve been down there probably a dozen times meeting with folks and business leaders.”

Tramont even got to join Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey on a ride along to see what it’s like in the area. He will also be the headlining speaker at the Space Coast Republican Club on Saturday (March 26).