A New York judge has approved a new Congressional map that pits two veteran incumbent Democrats against each other and boosts Republicans’ chances of winning more seats in November’s midterm elections, further endangering the frail majority of Democrats in the running. United States House.
Judge Patrick McAllister, a rural Steuben County judge, signed the map just before midnight Friday, weeks after New York’s highest court ruled that the redistricting plan passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature had been unconstitutionally manipulated for the benefit of the party.
The Democratic map would likely have given the party control of 22 of the state’s 26 congressional seats this fall, serving to offset similar partisan maps passed in Republican-dominated states such as Florida, Georgia and Texas.
Republicans only need to flip five seats in November to win a majority in the House, which would allow them to block much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
The court-appointed special master who drew the new map, Jonathan Cervas, said in a court filing that his plan creates eight competitive districts, along with 15 Democratic-leaning seats and three Republican-leaning seats.
The map merged the Manhattan neighborhoods of Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, who each served in the House for 30 years and now appear to be heading into what will be a costly and high-profile primary battle in August.
In upstate New York’s Westchester County, the homes of two first-term black Democratic congressmen, Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman, have been drawn to the same district.
Meanwhile, Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the National Congressional campaign arm of the Democratic Party, said this week he would run in a new district comprising most of Jones’ current seat, angering many allies of Jones who said he would be forced to run. against Maloney or Bowman.
But Jones said early Saturday he would instead show up in the new 10th Ward which includes parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Bill de Blasio, the former mayor of New York, has already announced his intention to run for the district, which is expected to attract a wide range of candidates.
The new map represents a bitterly disappointing outcome for Democrats, who used their legislative majorities to push through an aggressive Gerrymander. But after Republicans filed a lawsuit, the courts ruled that the Democratic map violated a 2014 constitutional amendment aimed at eliminating redistricting partisanship.
Cervas said he had reviewed thousands of comments since posting a draft on Monday and made some changes, including reuniting several Black and Asian American communities in New York that he had originally separated.