New York Judge Approves Congressional Map, Leaving Democrats in Disarray

People fill out ballots during voting in the New York primary election at a polling site in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 22, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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May 21 (Reuters) – A New York judge has approved a new congressional map that pits two veteran Democratic incumbents against each other and increases the odds that Republicans will win more seats in November’s midterm elections, further jeopardizing the fragile Democratic majority in the US House of Representatives.

Judge Patrick McAllister, a judge in rural Steuben County, signed the map shortly before midnight Friday, weeks after New York’s superior court ruled that the redistricting plan approved by the U.S.-controlled legislature Democrats was unconstitutionally manipulated to benefit the party.

The Democratic map likely would have given the party control of 22 of the state’s 26 congressional seats this fall, serving to counteract similar partisan maps passed in Republican-dominated states like Florida, Georgia and Texas.

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Republicans need to change just five seats in November to gain 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 districts of Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, who have served in the House for 30 years and now appear headed for what will be a high-profile and expensive primary battle in August.

In Westchester County, upstate New York, the homes of two first-term Democratic black congressmen, Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman, were drawn into the same district.

Meanwhile, Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the Democratic Party’s congressional campaign arm, said this week that he would run in a new district that included most of Jones’s current seat, angering many of Jones’s allies. that they said he would be forced to apply. against Maloney or Bowman.

But Jones said earlier Saturday that he would instead run in the new 10th district that includes parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Bill de Blasio, the former New York City mayor, has already announced his intention to run for the district, which is expected to attract a packed field of candidates. read more

The new map represents a bitterly disappointing result for Democrats, who used their legislative majorities to push for aggressive gerrymandering. But after Republicans sued, the courts ruled that the Democratic map conflicted with a 2014 constitutional amendment intended to eliminate partisanship in redistricting.

Cervas said he had reviewed thousands of comments since releasing a draft Monday and made some changes, including bringing together various black and Asian-American communities in New York City that he had originally divided.

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Reporting by Joseph Axe; Edited by Daniel Wallis

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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