Special master releases new congressional, senate district maps
Luke Parsnow and Kate Lisa are reporting for State of Politics on May 16 the court-appointed special master charged with drawing New York's new congressional and state Senate maps released a preliminary draft of the new boundaries the state will have for the next decade. Carnegie Mellon University Fellow Jonathan Cervas as special master drew lines for the state's 26 House seats, with 15 leaning Democratic, three leaning Republican and eight falling into the 45-55 percent competitive range. The new map splits up 15 counties compared to 34 county splits under the Legislature's plan that was struck down in April by the state's highest court for unconstitutional gerrymandering. The biggest changes from the maps drawn by state Democratic lawmakers in February include the 22nd District in Central New York and the 19th District in the Hudson Valley. The 19th now extends from Columbia County to Broome County and Cortland County. The district is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado. He has said he will resign and be sworn in as the state's next lieutenant governor, but has not said when. Republican Marc Molinaro, currently the Dutchess County Executive, said May 16 he will continue his campaign for the 19th Congressional District, even though he now lives outside of the new district. The 21st District, currently represented by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, extends south to include all of Montgomery and Schoharie counties and north to include Saratoga County. "The map maintains Democratic strongholds in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany, and also maintains a Southern Tier district," said Jeff Wice, senior fellow at the N.Y. Census & Redistricting Institute at New York Law School. "Overall, the districts are very compact across the state. The downstate districts are very compact." Greene and Columbia counties, though, are split from the Capital District, and paired with far-off Binghamton and Ithaca. MidHudson News is reporting the new 18th District now includes Orange County, southern Ulster, and most of Dutchess County. Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced on Twitter that he will run for that seat rather than competing in the 19th District, where he had previously entered a primary election. State Senator James Skoufis, also a Democrat, tweeted that he is “seriously considering” a run for the new district seat. Republican Colin Schmitt previously announced he was running for this seat, and confirmed he still would after the new maps were announced. The new 17th District would encompass much of the lower Hudson Valley and incumbent Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney will run in that district. Rep. Paul Tonko's Amsterdam home is now in Stefanik's 21st District, rather than the 20th District he now represents, so he will also be running in a district where he does not live. Republican Liz Joy opposes him in the 20th District. Primaries for U.S. House and state Senate races were pushed back to Aug. 23. The primary election for the statewide offices and state Assembly races will take place June 28.