Stefanik is about to benefit from a redesigned neighborhood plan | News, Sports, Jobs
ALBANY — Congress’s proposed maps for New York, which are expected to pass the Democratic-controlled legislature, have the potential to significantly reduce the state’s GOP delegation in Washington.
The maps, which are expected to be approved in Albany on Wednesday, prompted two upstate Republican incumbents to restart their plans and announce they would move into revamped districts in a bid to stay in office.
For an interactive view of proposed redistricting lines, visit newyork.redistrictingandyou.org.
Candidates change plans
R-Erie County Rep. Chris Jacobs said he will be running in the revised 24th District. It would include parts of Niagara County and stretch east from Youngstown to the Thousand Islands region.
Meanwhile, Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, said she would run for a seat in Southern Tier counties that stretch from the northern part of Broome County to the southwest corner of New York. .
The new map would leave the state with three GOPs “great neighborhoods” strongly Republican leaning.
Among those who would benefit from the proposed changes would be U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville. She is the third-highest-ranking member of the Republican House leadership team, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and a close ally of former President Donald Trump.
Give the Democrats an advantage
The New York congressional delegation now includes 19 Democrats and eight Republicans. But the proposed maps would give Democrats the advantage in 22 of the reshaped districts, with Republicans gaining the advantage in just four.
With the state losing a seat due to slow population growth, the current Tenney District, the 22nd, was sliced up and four counties it now represents – Chenango, Cortland, Broome and Tioga – would become part of the Proposed 23rd District.
The proposed maps would keep Stefanik, R-Saratoga, the frontrunner in a revised 21st district with even more Republican voters than his current district. The maps showed that Democrats are instead targeting weaker GOP incumbents with the redistricting process than devoting significant resources to defeating Stefanik.
Tenney, who now lives in New Hartford, said she was ready to move into the new 23rd District after it was approved. She heads into election season with a campaign cash of $1.1 million.
“Albany Democrats are targeting me because they know I will continue to stand up to the radical agenda of (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi, (Speaker) Joe Biden and (Governor) Kathy Hochul” Tenney said in a statement.
Lose three seats
Overall, the proposed map, if approved by the Legislature, poses problems for Republicans in the state. The proposal carves out four Republican-leaning seats as well as 20 Democratic-leaning districts. Two constituencies would lean in favor of the Democrats.
The result would be a net loss of three GOP-leaning seats and the removal of a highly competitive seat from the map drawn a decade ago.
New York Republican President Nick Langworthy called the proposed cards “a manual, filthy partisan gerrymandering” and “a brazen and outrageous attempt to rig the election.”
But Judith Hunter, president of the New York State Rural Democratic Conference, suggested that Republicans deserve no sympathy.
“It’s a case of crocodile tears” Hunter told CNHI. “Through its electoral practices, New York — especially in recent cycles — has proven itself to be a deeply Democratic state. And it’s normal for the cards to reflect that.
But she and others have noted that it’s possible the proposed cards could face lawsuits.
Stefanik, according to the proposed map, would retain the North Country, but lose Fort Drum, a large US Army installation near Watertown, a part of Warren County that includes Queensbury.
Stefanik, if re-elected, would take over all of Schoharie County, now part of the 19th District, and the city of Rome. The new district, as proposed, would give him all of New York’s communities along the Vermont border, many of which are already present in his current district.
Fort Drum in Jefferson County would be part of the 24th District under the plan.
Vince Casale, a veteran Otsego County GOP strategist, said the redesigned districts may not go exactly as Democrats hope, predicting that controversy over state bail laws, although this is an issue in Albany, will impact voters in the federal election.
“This is an attempt by Democrats to turn as many parts of New York City blue as possible,” said Casale. “But I think they’re miscalculating, and they’re going to have trouble with that.”