Home News Two Hudson Valley incumbents win big in proposed Congressional map

Two Hudson Valley incumbents win big in proposed Congressional map

Two Hudson Valley incumbents win big in proposed Congressional map

ALBANY: A draft of the proposed congressional districts by the state independent redistricting panel has been made public, and it seems to support at least two incumbents from the Hudson Valley—one Republican and one Democrat.

The state’s highest court decided, four votes to three, in December 2023 that the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) of the state will reconstitute New York’s 26 Congressional districts before to the 2024 election. The maps that were made public today are the outcome of the commission that was mandated by the court to draw the maps, which were created by a special master in 2022 and would only be used for one election cycle.

The Hudson Valley is affected by a few of the most prominent modifications to the state-wide map that was unveiled on Thursday afternoon. The voters in Pat Ryan’s home district of the 18th Congressional District are more inclined to support Democrats. Republicans in the present district, which is in Western Orange County, would lose their seats, and the entire county of Ulster would become part of the new district.

Similarly, Republican Marc Molinaro’s 19th Congressional District would become more Republican-friendly by losing significantly blue areas of Ulster County and gaining red areas of Orange County.

At first look, it seems that Congressman Mike Lawler, who currently represents the 17th Congressional District, is the only one proposing little to no change.

The IRC’s plan must be approved by the state legislature by a supermajority vote in order to become law. Even though Democrats control both the State Senate and the Assembly with supermajorities, not every member of the majority is pleased with the commission’s suggested maps.

Following nearly two years of legal battles and hand-wringing over a fair congressional map, state senator James Skoufis (D, Cornwall) released a statement that said, in part, that the only bipartisan aspect of the Independent Redistricting Commission’s proposal is that both parties are trying to defend their incumbents. The most significant alteration to the map, in reality, divides the now united county into two congressional districts in an effort to preserve one incumbent from each party, sacrificing Orange County in the name of partisanship.

Skoufis added that the IRC’s suggestion, which was made just weeks before the court’s February 28 deadline for the commission to complete its work, ought to be rejected by the legislature.

After reviewing the maps on social media platform X, Dave Wasserman, Senior Editor & Elections Analyst of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, concluded that, should the measure be approved, it would lessen the competitiveness of the map in Upstate New York, slightly favoring Democrats but falling well short of the windfall Republicans had feared from an aggressive gerrymander.

According to Wassarman’s initial research, the likelihood of each incumbent being reelection this November would increase if Ryan’s district went from being a Biden +8 to a Biden +11 and Molinaro’s district went from being a Biden +5 to a Biden +1.

When the state legislature would vote on the suggested maps is unknown. The next week is free for legislators, who will reconvene in Albany on February 26.

You may find a copy of the suggested maps HERE.

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