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Maps firm, candidates line up

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

With the state Supreme Court's approved redistricting maps in effect for the 2012 elections and Levy County, for once it is not parceled out several ways.
Of course, while keeping the county in one piece, it can no longer claim the votes — or attention — of three state representatives, two state senators and two representatives in Congress.
The county's 40,000-plus residents must be content with one state representative, one state senator and one member of Congress.
As a result of redistricting, the county is now in:
• Congressional District 3 which stretches from the Georgia-Florida border into Marion County. This redrawn district includes part of Madison County, all of Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Union, Bradford, Lafayette, Gilchrist, Dixie and Levy counties, and portions of Alachua and Marion counties.
• New state House District 22 which includes all of Levy County and a western portion of Marion County. This is a whole different district from the current District 22 which only covered a portion of Levy and a lot of Citrus County.
• A pretty familiar looking state Senate District 5 which also starts at the Florida-Georgia border and takes in all of Baker, Union, Columbia, Suwannee, Lafayette, Dixie, Gilchrist Levy and Citrus counties and a western portion of Marion County.
Qualifying has already started for the new districts, which were finalized with the last court decision in late April on the state Senate maps.
Filing for Congressional District 3 are:
Jacques Rene Gaillot Jr., of Fleming Island, Democrat; James Jett, of Fleming Island, Republican; Stephen Oelrich, of Gainesville, Republican; William "Bill" Smalley, of Sorrento, Democrat; Theodore Scott Yoho, of Gainesville, Republican; and Michael F. "Mike" Yost, of Jacksonville, Republican.
Filing for state House District 22 are:
 James Louis Alphonse of Ocala, no party affiliation, and Charlie Stone, a Republican,
Filing for State Senate District 5 was unavailable from the Florida Secretary of State elections website. But the district does include Inverness, home of state Sen. Charlie Dean, one of two state senators representing Levy County. The other senator, State Oelrich is running for Congress.

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