Proposed New York maps create House battleground
A special master tasked with redrawing New York’s congressional district lines released a proposed draft Monday that would make the Empire State an epicenter for the national fight to control the U.S. House of Representatives.
The proposal, offered by Carnegie Mellon political scientist Jonathan Cervas, would create 15 districts that favor Democratic candidates and five that favor Republicans, according to data posted on the nonpartisan Dave’s Redistricting App.
The remaining six districts, on suburban Long Island, on Staten Island and north into the Hudson Valley, would likely be competitive between both parties, Cervas said in a filing made with the court overseeing the redistricting process.
The new maps come after an initial version approved by the state legislature was struck down by Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister. Those maps would have given Democrats an advantage in 22 of the 26 districts New York will have for the next decade to come.
Instead, Cervas has proposed a map that could give Republicans an opportunity to win up to 11 seats in Congress, in the right political atmosphere. Republicans have not held that many seats in New York since the 2002 elections.
Cervas’s proposed map gives Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R) a much better chance of keeping her Staten Island-based district. Under Democratic lines, Malliotakis’s district would have added thousands of new Democratic voters, voters who would stay in districts held by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D) and Yvette Clarke (D) under Cervas’s proposal.
The maps set up an explosive clash between two longtime Democrats who now find themselves drawn into the same district. In statements after the maps were released, Nadler and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D) both said they would run for the same district.
Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Maloney, chair of the House Oversight Committee, both won election to Congress in 1992.
Districts held by Reps. Tom Suozzi (D), who is running for governor, and Andrew Garbarino (R), both on Long Island, would become much more competitive than they have been in recent years.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) is drawn into a district currently held by Rep. Mondaire Jones (D). Maloney, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said he would run in the district that most closely resembles Jones’s. Jones, first elected in 2020, did not immediately say which seat he would seek.
A seat held by Rep. Antonio Delgado (D), who is soon to leave Congress to become New York’s lieutenant governor, would also be competitive, though it would favor Democrats by marginally more than Delgado’s current district. Delgado ousted then-Rep. John Faso (R) in the 2018 midterm elections by 15,000 votes.
One current Republican-held seat will remain a perennial Democratic target: The seat held by retiring Rep. John Katko (R), near Syracuse, appears to favor Democrats by a slim margin.
The new map includes 10 districts with a majority-minority population, all in the New York City area. Only one of those districts, Malliotakis’s seat, is currently held by a Republican; the remaining nine are heavily Democratic.
Cervas’s proposal is not yet final, and New Yorkers have until Wednesday to offer comment on his draft. The special master faces a Friday deadline to turn in his work; New York’s congressional primaries are scheduled for Aug. 23.
Updated at 3:14 p.m.
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