Congressional Redistricting Plan Begins to Unfold

new york district 04 109th us congress Congressional Redistricting Plan Begins to Unfold
New York 4th Congressional District, currently represented by Carolyn McCarthy. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Earlier this morning, Ken Lovett reported one of the two Congressional districts New York State is destined to lose looks likely to be Nassau County Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, resulting in electoral implications across New York State.

Notably, because the seats are eliminated based on relative population loss, this would likely mean Congressman Bob Turner’s nearby Queens-based district is safe. Mr. Turner’s district had long been assumed to be on the chopping block, and Mr. Lovett’s report certainly makes Assemblyman Rory Lancman’s recently announced campaign efforts against Mr. Turner look far less foolhardy.

As The Politicker reported earlier this week, combining Ms. McCarthy’s district with neighboring Congressman Gary Ackerman’s seat makes a certain amount of mathematical sense, as Long Island can only support exactly four Congressional districts while five Representatives currently call the area home.

According to the Mr. Lovett’s report, the districts would be combined in such a way as to favor Mr. Ackerman. However, if Ms. McCarthy does not wish to quietly exit stage right, there could be an exciting Democratic primary between the two representatives. Ms. McCarthy has been fundraising more aggressively than Mr. Ackerman and she is likely to have a substantial amount of territory in a combined district.

New York will still have another seat to eliminate, which could easily come from Western New York, an area that has seen the heaviest population loss in the state. Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos recently told the Buffalo News the region would likely lose a Congressional Member.

As the New York State legislature is divided between Democrats and Republicans, conventional wisdom is that they will seek to divide their pain equally between the two parties for their redistricting proposal. If a Downstate Democrat like Ms. McCarthy or Mr. Ackerman is eliminated, an Upstate Republican could then be on the chopping block.

In an interesting wrinkle, Hudson Valley Democratic Congressman Maurice Hinchey is also not seeking reelection. The Politicker theorized that this third district could create enough political space for a new Latino district to be created in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx.

It is unknown if Governor Andrew Cuomo will be inclined to veto the proposed Congressional map, which would send the entire scheme back to the drawing board with unpredictable results.

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