New York’s final congressional and state Senate redistricting maps were released on Saturday, resulting in significantly more competitive districts than those originally drawn by the state Legislature.
The congressional and state Senate district maps were drawn by special master Jonathan Cervas and approved by state Supreme Court Justice Patrick McAllister. Draft versions of both maps were released on Monday, May 16 for public review.
Eight districts now competitive
The new maps are ultimately a blow to Democrats, who had hoped to secure the party’s majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Now, eight out of 26 districts are competitive, according to court paperwork. Democrats previously had a stronghold in 22 of 26 districts on Legislature-drawn maps.
The task of redistricting was handed over to the Legislature back in February after an independent redistricting commission failed to reach a consensus on new maps. In April, New York’s Court of Appeals struck down maps drawn by the state Legislature on the grounds of being gerrymandered to favor Democrats and not following a voter-approved independent redistricting process.
Related: Court-appointed expert releases drafts of New York’s redrawn congressional, state Senate district maps
Impact on Finger Lakes, Southern Tier
The cities of Ithaca and Auburn are not included in the 22nd District, which covers a sizeable portion of Central New York.
Auburn Mayor Michael Quill and other city officials previously sent letters to Cervas urging him to include Auburn in the Central New York district. Instead, Auburn is now a part of the 24th District, a rural district that spans from Niagara County to Watertown.
The 22nd District, which includes the Syracuse area, is currently represented by Republican Claudia Tenney. On Saturday, Tenney announced she would run in the newly-formed 24th District.
All of Tompkins County, including the City of Ithaca, has been drawn into New York’s 19th District. The district includes Cortland and Oneonta and runs all the way to the Hudson River. The Legislature-drawn version of the congressional map put Ithaca in the 22nd district.
The 23rd District stretches from Erie County to rural areas east of Syracuse, encompassing most of the Southern Tier. The district incumbent Tom Reed resigned earlier this month, prompting a special election to fill his seat.
Primaries set for August
Congressional and state Senate primaries are scheduled to take place on August 23. It’s possible more candidates will switch districts this week in light of the finalized district maps. As for the special election to fill Reed’s seat, it will likely coincide with primaries in August.
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