Local State Senate, Assembly districts see changes under redistricting proposal
Joshua Solomon reports in the Times Union how the proposal for redistricting before the state legislature will redraw the lines of local State Senators and Assemblymembers. Republican State Senator Daphne Jordan is drawn out of her district, as her home in Halfmoon is no longer in the 43rd Senate District under the proposal. Instead, the district is drawn from the north border of Rensselaer County to Poughkeepsie, although it does not include a few of the westernmost towns in Rensselaer, Columbia, and Dutchess counties. If Jordan does not decide to move into the new district that would have voted for President Joe Biden with 52 percent of its vote, the seat would be wide open. Katy Degaldo, spokesperson for the Senate Minority Conference, said in a statement. "Regardless of what the district lines look like in November, Sen. Jordan will continue to represent the best interests of all New Yorkers as she has since taking office in 2019.” The 45th Senate District is also radically different. Currently, it extends from north of Albany to the Canadian border is represented by Republican Daniel Stec. Under the new proposal, it includes Coeymans, Bethlehem, New Scotland, Cohoes, and the city of Albany, and Schodack, East Greenbush, and North Greenbush in Rensselaer County, and would seem an easy win for a Democrat. In the 48th State Senate District, Democrat Michelle Hinchey loses conservative Schoharie County, but now has Rensselaerville, Westerlo, Berne, Knox, and Guilderland in Albany County, and the western half of Columbia County, as well as all of Greene and Ulster counties to represent. In the Assembly, Republican Jake Ashby's 107th District gets a little bluer, adding in Delmar would be folded into a far-reaching 107th district, which would include parts of Washington County, Hoosick Falls, Kinderhook and Chatham. It would represent most of rural Rensselaer County. The district is currently represented by Assemblyman Jake Ashby, R-Castleton. The district would become modestly more Democratic, adding in Bethlehem in Albany County, and switching from eastern Columbia County towns to Chatham, Stuyvesant, Kinderhook, Ghent, and Stockport. Democrat Didi Barrett's 106th District is largely the same, but adds Hillsdale, Austerlitz, Canaan, New Lebanon, and Chatham in Columbia County. Republican Chris Tague's 102nd District leaves Columbia County, and adds Berne and Knox in Albany County, while switching from Saugerties to Shandakan in Ulster County. Independent observers continue to complain about the partisan nature of the new maps. "Partisan gerrymandering is banned under the state constitutional amendment passed in 2014, yet the maps released ... reflect a Legislature that appears to care more about favoring partisan interests than it does for fair maps," Laura Ladd Bierman, executive director of the league, said in a statement Feb. 1. While Democrats drew the lines in their favor this time, the Republican-led Senate drew these maps ten years ago after the partisan-split Legislature could not agree. The congressional lines were drawn by a judge. Read more about this story in the Times Union.