With midterm elections quickly approaching this coming November, a newly released redistricting plan from New York courts has many concerned.  May 20th is the deadline for the final congressional map for the state, with Wednesday the 18th as the deadline for the public to provide feedback on the current draft.  As it stands, if the current draft passes, it will certainly impact upcoming elections, especially locally as it looks like Republicans will be getting quite the boost and would also create a position where major Democrats are going head to head against one another.

What Is Redistricting?

Redistricting typically happens following a census, where a bipartisan commission draws up new maps that must be passed by 2/3 of each chamber and then signed into law by the Democratic governor.  According to FiveThirtyEight, who has outlined the redistricting process in each state, Democrats fully control the redistricting process in New York State.  In late April the first draft of the congressional redistricting map was struck down by New York Court of Appeals, 'requiring the map be redrawn with the assistance of a neutral expert, Jonathan Cervas.'

Why Was The Map Rejected?

In what was described as 'approved along partisan lines in the legislature,' the original redistricting map that was overturned in April was designed in such a way that gave Democrats a pretty significant advantage across the state, leaving only four Republican-leaning seats, two highly competitive seats that were Dem leaning, and 20 full Democratic-leaning seats.  See the map comparisons here.


How Does This Impact The Hudson Valley?

Not only does the newly proposed map split the city of Kingston in two, it also sets the area up for an interesting primary battle. According to Politico:

  • Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones will share a southern Westchester seat.
  • Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney would now run for a seat centered in northern Westchester.
  • The Kingston/Poughkeepsie district would now be under the newly created 18th Congressional District with all of Orange County, everything but the southeastern area of Dutchess County, and a great deal of central and southern Ulster County.  Not only does it split up Ulster County, it legitimately cuts the City of Kington into two districts.

Shortly after the announcement of the 18th Congressional District, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan made his own announcement, that he will run for election in the newly created district.

Should Ryan win the election, a special election would need to be run in order to fill the vacant County Executive position.

In Dutchess County, Marc Molinaro, who in prior months was named as a strong opposing candidate to challenge Antonio Delgado, who has since been appointed Lieutenant General.  On Monday Molinaro announced he will be running to represent the New York 19th Congressional District.

For an additional look into how the redistricting plan would impact the political climate here in the Hudson Valley, check out Politico's analysis here.

13 Major Changes Coming To New York State