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House Speaker Mike Johnson says NY-22 will 'decide the fate of the country'

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks at a new campaign office for Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett)
Ava Pukatch
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks at a new campaign office for Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Sennett)

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) was in central New York on Thursday, attending a New Hartford fundraiser for central New York Rep. Brandon Williams' (R-Sennett) campaign before heading to a new NRCC "battle station" office in Onondaga County.

Republicans have a razor-thin majority in the House. Speaker Mike Johnson said what the future of the House looks like could come down to central New York's 22nd Congressional District.

"This is one of the districts that is going to decide the fate of the country," Johnson said. "I mean, I'm not giving you dramatic speak, you know, this is not hyperbole. This district may very well be one of the decision points on whether we keep the majority, grow the majority in the House."

But the makeup of what the district lines will look like is unclear. New York's Independent Redistricting Commission released a map last week that would remove a portion of Oneida County from the district and add in the Cities of Cortland and Auburn. The Democratic-controlled state legislature will be voting on whether to approve that map or to draw their own. Congressman Brandon Williams wants the special master plan, which was used in the 2022 election, to remain in place.

"I'm calling for the legislature to adopt the lines as they are right now, the ones drawn by the special master, the ones that we ran on in 2022," Williams said. "Those are the fairer lines."

If the legislature draws its own map, it could end up being challenged in court.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.