Democrats face tougher election prospects under newly released draft maps
VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — New York’s elections have once again been shaken up, this time after a court-appointed redistricting expert released draft congressional maps Monday morning.
The new lines create several new competitive districts, and lower the amount of Democratic leaning districts overall.
Under the existing maps, 19 of the state’s 27 districts are represented by Democrats. The maps drawn by court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, would create 16 Democratic-leaning districts, five Republican-leaning districts and five competitive seats.
One of these competitive districts would include Tioga, Tompkins and Broome counties stretching east to the Hudson river to join parts of Ulster, Green, Sullivan and Chenango counties to form a new 19th Congressional District.
The new maps also break up a proposed 22nd Congressional District that would’ve included Syracuse and Ithaca. Under Cervas’ plan Syracuse would be combined with Utica and their surrounding suburbs as part of a new 22nd District.
The existing Southern Tier congressional district would drop Tompkins and Tioga counties to the east and add parts of southern Erie County to the west.
"This map departs dramatically from Common Cause/NY's recommended lines for Congress,” Common Cause NY Executive Director Susan Lerner wrote in a statement criticizing the new lines. “It divides communities of interest and neighborhoods, particularly in New York City and ignores the cores of the existing congressional districts. We are still completing our analysis and will have comments to submit to the court.”
The new maps shake up the state of play for many congressional campaigns, with candidates now potentially running for districts in which they don’t reside.
A representative of Democrat Max Della Pia’s campaign told WSKG that he will continue to run in the 23rd Congressional District, despite his home of Tioga County being drawn into the 19th District.
Republican Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced he would continue his bid in the 19th Congressional District seat, despite Dutchess County being drawn out of the district.
Josh Riley, a D.C. based lawyer who moved to Ithaca to run in what was then the 22nd Congressional District, announced on Twitter he will now also run in the 19th District which now includes Tompkins County.
The special master also released draft maps for state Senate Monday. Cervas’ proposal would keep a Democratic-favored district between Ithaca and Binghamton. The proposed 53rd District would also add the City of Cortland, which had been drawn by the Legislature into a district stretching up to Utica. The special masters’ map also splits Broome County, with Binghamton, Endicott and Vestal included in the 53rd District, while much of the eastern part of the county would be grouped with a Republican-leaning district stretching to Greene County.