Newly released congressional maps would result in major changes, if approved
A state task force released new congressional district maps Sunday evening, after an independent panel failed to reach a consensus on new maps this month. If approved, the new districts would result in some major changes across central and northern New York.
Here is a look at some of the newly proposed districts.
22nd Congressional District
Republican Rep. John Katko's current 24th district would be redrawn to become the 22nd district. It would include all of Onondaga and Tompkins counties, including the Democrat-heavy cities of Syracuse and Ithaca, as well as parts of Madison, Cortland, Cayuga, and Seneca counties, as well as the city of Geneva in Ontario County and the town of Hector in Schuyler County. If the proposed district is approved, it would likely mean a Democratic pickup.
19th Congressional District
The current 19th district is represented by Democratic Rep. Antonio Delgado. That district would remain the 19th, but would be expanded to include parts of Broome, Otsego, Madison, Chenango and Oneida Counties, including the cities of Binghamton and Utica. These are areas currently held by Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. Tenney currently represents the 22nd district, which would largely be cut up and added to other districts, essentially gerrymandering Tenney out. (See more on Tenney below)
21st Congressional District
North Country Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik's would remain safely in GOP territory, but there are some changes in the newly redrawn district. It would remain the 21st district, and more territory in the eastern part of the state would be added, including parts of Oswego, southern Herkimer, Fulton, and Schoharie counties. But while the current district includes all of Jefferson County, most of the county would be removed from the redrawn district, including the city of Watertown
23rd Congressional District
The current 23rd district is represented by Republican Tom Reed, who is retiring at the end of this year. The newly redrawn 23rd district would remain largely intact, removing all of Tompkins County, and adding in parts of Cortland, Broome and Chenango counties, which are currently parts of the 22nd district. This district would continue to lean Republican, but is expected to be a competitive open seat.
24th Congressional District
If there was an award for the most oddly shaped congressional district, the newly redrawn 24th district would probably win. If approved, it would stretch nearly a dozen counties, ranging from Niagara County and part of Erie County in western New York, wrapping around most of Monroe County, and swinging back north along the Lake Ontario shoreline to cover parts of Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Cayuga, Oswego and Jefferson counties. The district would include the cities of Oswego, Fulton and Watertown, but would be largely rural, making it a winnable seat for Republicans this fall.
What happens to Tenney?
Rep. Claudia Tenney appears to have been gerrymandered out in these proposed maps. Much of her current district was carved up and added to other districts. Tenney was born in New Hartford and has been much of her life in and around Oneida County, which has been split in the new maps between Republican Elise Stefanik and Democrat Antonio Delgado. Tenney announced Monday that she intends to run for the newly proposed 23rd district seat being left open by Rep. Tom Reed's retirement. Part of Tenney's current district is included in the newly redrawn 23rd district.
What happens next?
The state Legislature is expected to vote on the newly redrawn maps as soon as Wednesday. It would require a two-thirds majority in both the Assembly and Senate, but is likely to pass. The maps would then be signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul. But that still may not be the end of the process. State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement late Sunday that the process has been "textbook filthy, partisan gerrymandering that is clearly in violation of the New York State Constitution. We are reviewing all of our legal options to protect the voices of millions of New Yorkers.”