By Ethan Stark-Miller and Stephen Witt
Let the race begin…again.
Steuben County court appointed special master Jonathan Cervas released final versions of new Congressional and state Senate maps just minutes before his Friday night deadline. Judge Patrick McAllister quickly approved them.
The final maps include changes on Long Island, creating a district largely based on the South Shore in Nassau County. Congressional District 3 will no longer expand to Westchester, and instead extends further into southern Nassau, including parts of Massapequa. Meanwhile, the 2nd Congressional District remains on the South Shore but loses its Nassau County parts. Also, the 1st Congressional District has extended further west to include parts of Huntington, so it now spans across North Shore Suffolk.
Cervas, a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University and a non-partisan expert, was enlisted to redraw Congressional and state Senate lines by McAllister. This came after the old Democratic-controlled state legislature drawn lines were tossed out by the state’s highest court, who ruled the lines were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Democrats in the House and Albany’s upper chamber.
Cervas gave New Yorkers anxious to know the shape of their new Congressional and state Senate districts for the next decade a preview of the potential lines by releasing draft maps Monday. Those draft maps mostly resembled the final lines released Friday night, looking to give beleaguered Republicans a shot at reclaiming seats in Congress and the state Senate by increasing both the number of Republican-leaning and competitive districts at both the federal and state levels.
Even before the final maps were revealed Friday, several candidates had either already declared candidacy for or expressed interest in running for new seats outlined in the draft plans.
The most prominent among them is former-Mayor Bill de Blasio, who officially launched his bid for the draft 10th Congressional District Friday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. De Blasio will likely face a packed field of big name New York pols as half-a-dozen current and former lawmakers have already expressed interest in the seat. After the final maps were released Friday, Congress Member Mondaire Jones (D – Westchester) announced on Twitter that he would vy for the new 10th District instead of having to run against another incumbent, Congress Member Sean Patrick Maloney (D – Hudson Valley), for his current Westchester seat.
Some of the many other candidates interested in the new seat include former city Comptroller Scott Stringer – who’s also reportedly interested in a state Senate run, as well as state Senator Simcha Felder (D – Brooklyn) and Assembly Members Jo Anne Simon (D – Brooklyn), Robert Carroll (D – Brooklyn) and Yuh-Line Niou (D – Manhattan). State Senator Brad Hoylman (D – Manhattan), who previously expressed interest in the seat, said he’s going to run for reelection to the Senate instead.
The final maps also upheld the new 12th District that combines the east and west sides of Manhattan, where veteran Congress Members Jerry Nadler (D – Manhattan) and Carolyn Maloney (D Manhattan, Queens) are likely to face off.
-With Briana Bonfiglio
This story first appeared on PoliticsNY.com.