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Florida - 3rd District

Incumbent -- Corrine Brown (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

Updated Sept. 7, 2010

For several weeks in mid-2009, nine-term incumbent Brown publicly mulled bidding for the 2010 Democratic Senate nomination in Florida. The possibility of an open-seat race in her rambling, Democratic-dominated district undoubtedly drew the attentions of 3rd District constituents -- especially fellow Democrats -- who have congressional ambitions.

But a contest to succeed Brown will have to wait for another election year. She decided in October to forgo the Senate race and instead seek re-election to the House -- which she almost certainly will win without an ounce of difficulty -- and endorsed the Senate candidacy of Democratic Rep. Kendrick B. Meek of Florida's 17th District, a fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Brown is not one of the African-American House members who has a black super-majority in her district: Blacks make up a plurality with just less than half the population. But she does enjoy a Democratic super-majority, as 3rd District residents gave Barack Obama 71 percent of their votes for president in 2008. Brown has not faced a general election opponent since 2002. Her Republican opponent is Michael Yost.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The Democratic, blue-collar 3rd bounces among three of Florida's northern cities and includes both heavily urban areas and long stretches of swamps and lakes along the St. Johns River. It slithers south along the river into a large portion of working-class Putnam County, where bass fishing is prevalent, before taking in part of Gainesville, home to the University of Florida (in the 6th), and continuing southeast to Orlando (shared with the 8th and 24th). Most of the area in between the northern cities is dominated by agricultural land and lacks major private employers, hampering efforts at job and economic growth in the 3rd.

The district relies on Jacksonville's port, Naval Air Station Jacksonville (in the 4th District) and other area government facilities for jobs. Transportation company CSX Corp. is based in the 3rd's portion of Jacksonville. The local financial services sector held relatively steady amid recent economic slowdowns and high unemployment rates, and has buoyed the city's economy.

At the district's southern end, many Orlando residents work in the volatile tourism industry at locations such as Walt Disney World (in the 8th). Renovations at the Florida Citrus Bowl stalled as city tax revenues dropped during the recent economic downturn, but construction of a new arena for basketball's Magic brought jobs to the area.

Blacks make up a majority (51 percent) of district residents, and the median household income is just more than $34,000. Democrats dominate the 3rd, outnumbering Republicans by more than 3-to-1 in party registration. Some rural areas in Clay County and in the Palatka area (shared with the 7th) on the St. Johns River are home to Republicans and old-line conservative Democrats, but not enough to counter the 3rd's strong proclivity toward Democrats in federal elections. Barack Obama won 71 percent of the district's 2008 presidential vote.

Major Industry

Defense, government, transportation, higher education

Cities

Jacksonville (pt.), 245,902; Orlando (pt.), 75,376; Pine Hills (unincorporated), 60,076; Gainesville (pt.), 36,710

notable

The St. Johns River and its tributaries flow north to Jacksonville.

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