New York's new congressional district maps strengthens Democratic hold in CD3, weakens CD1, CD2

New York's new congressional district maps strengthens Democratic hold in CD3, weakens CD1, CD2
The New York Legislature approved congressional district maps that will strengthen the Democratic edge in the Third Congressional District, which recently elected Rep. Tom Suozzi. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

The New York State Legislature approved a new congressional map Wednesday that benefitted some districts for Democrats but to a lesser degree than anticipated.

The Legislature, which modified a map drawn by a bipartisan redistricting commission, made noteworthy changes in some of Long Island’s congressional districts, including the 3rd Congressional District now represented by Rep. Tom Suozzi.

The 3rd Congressional District was redrawn to exclude Republican-dominated Massapequa and gained parts of Huntington and Huntington Station.

This change is expected to improve Suozzi's chances in the fall when all House seats come up for a vote.

House Majority Pac, a Super PAC that works to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives, said in a statement they are confident the district will re-elect Suozzi in the fall under the new map.

Long Island’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts – which are currently represented by Republicans – are in turn gaining an even bigger Republican majority.

The 1st Congressional District, now represented by Rep. Nick LaLota,  loses Lloyd Harbor and Huntington Bay, but gains the Moriches.

The 2nd Congressional District, which is currently represented by Rep. Andrew Garbarino, will be gaining Massapequa and losing the Moriches.

The 4th Congressional District, represented by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, would remain nearly the same under the new map and continue to cover southern Nassau County.

With a recent win by Suozzi in the 3rd Congressional District, the House Majority Pac expressed confidence in the ability to also flip the First and Fourth Districts blue.

“House Majority PAC will be the largest investor in New York Democratic campaigns in 2024, and we will flip these New York districts blue and take back the House,” the Super PAC said in a statement.

They said the way to gain a Democratic majority in the House is through New York State.

The New York League of Women Voters denounced the new maps for undermining the procedures in place to establish the congressional maps.

“The New York State Legislature has once again undermined the intent and promise of the
constitutional amendment establishing the Independent Redistricting Commission by voting
down a new plan for congressional districts approved 9-1 by the bipartisan IRC and drawing its own new district lines,” The New York League of Women Voters said in a statement. “The recent actions, including the Legislature’s redrawing of maps, leads to confusion and uncertainty for voters and potential candidates as to election districts especially if those lines are challenged in the courts.”

New York State GOP Chairman Ed Cox called the new congressional map “fair” and said that it will not be further challenged in court.

The new congressional map garnered bipartisan votes in the New York State Legislature and was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Three state senators – two representing areas along Long Island’s South Shore – voted to approve the final map. The senate vote came out to ​​45-17.

More than a dozen Republicans in the state Assembly also approved the maps, bringing the total vote to 115-33.

However, the process of finalizing the congressional maps was wrought with challenges.

The Democrat-controlled state Legislature crafted new congressional maps in 2022.

The proposal gave Democrats strong majorities in 22 of the 26 districts and was ultimately rejected by the State Supreme Court due to gerrymandering.

The Court of Appeals ordered a special master to redraw the maps for the 2022 elections, which aided the wins of Republicans in certain districts including on Long Island.

A new map was then crafted again after a New York State Court of Appeals ordered new maps to replace the ones created by the court-appointed “special master.” The decision stated that the prior map was only eligible for the 2022 election.

A bipartisan redistricting commission proposed a different map days before the final one was approved, but was struck down by Democrats who claimed flaws in the districting.

The approval of the new maps and the signing into law by the governor came just a day before the congressional qualifying period for the primaries began.

Two other election-related bills were passed on Wednesday. One changes the petitioning period for congressional primaries to begin Thursday and another limits potential Republican lawsuits against the maps to be filed in either Manhattan, Albany, Buffalo or Westchester County.

Democrats hold a majority of the congressional districts in New York, with 16 Democratic representatives and 10 Republicans.

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