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The New York Shuffle

The 2022 New York redistricting cycle has been confusing to say the least, and the judiciary’s rejection of the legislature’s map means a substantially different plan is taking effect.

As a result, we’re seeing a new round of political musical chairs develop. Below is the recap covering the state’s most competitive districts and the fast-changing campaigns.

The following members were redistricting winners, and look to have safe seats and little in the way of opposition on their way to re-election: Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens); Grace Meng (D-Queens); Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn); Hakeem Jeffries* (D-Brooklyn); Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn); Adriano Espaillat (D-Bronx); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Bronx); Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx); Peter Tonko (D-Amsterdam/Albany); Elise Stefanik* (R-Schuylerville); and Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo). 

The FiveThirtyEight data organization statistics accompanying each district below shows the progression through the New York redistricting process. The Court rating depicts the final projection for the affected districts in the 2022 general election campaign.

District 1

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) Open Seat

538 Court: R+5 Legislature: D+6  Current: R+10

Rep. Zeldin is leaving his Long Island congressional district to run for Governor and the Democratic legislature took advantage of the open 1st to re-draw it as a conversion seat. The court, however, largely restored the 1st District to its traditional boundaries and the GOP is again in good position to hold the seat come November. The candidate field is not fully formed, and while the general election will be competitive, the historical trends suggest the Republicans again have the edge.

District 2

Rep. Andrew Garbarino* (R-Sayville)

538 Court: R+6 Legislature: R+20  Current: R+8

In order to make the 1st District a Democratic conversion seat, the legislature overloaded Republicans into freshman Rep. Andrew Garbarino’s 2nd CD. For awhile, Mr. Garbarino was one of the redistricting big winners. The court action restored this south shore Long Island seat back to its more traditional confines, however. This means the 2nd returns to competitive status with a Republican lean. Rep. Garbarino will be favored against likely Democratic nominee Jackie Gordon, the opponent he defeated 53-46% in 2020, but we can again expect to see competition in this general election.

District 3

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) Open Seat

538 Court: D+4 Legislature: D+10   Current: D+6

Rep. Tom Suozzi challenging Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Democratic gubernatorial primary leaves this north shore Long Island seat open. Republican George Santos, who ran a competitive race against Mr. Suozzi in 2020, returns this year and appears to be unopposed for the GOP nomination. Democrats have a field of five candidates at this point including two local officials. Perhaps the would-be leading candidate, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, has curiously already left this seat to run in new District 17. Though competitive, the 3rd still leans Democratic but is again a campaign to watch in November.

District 4

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) Open Seat

538 Court: D+10 Legislature: D+8   Current: D+9

Rep. Rice deciding to retire after four terms also leaves this compact Long Island district open. The court map actually improved this seat for the Democrats and the eventual party nominee will be a heavy favorite to win in November. Six Democrats are in the field, including four local officials.

District 10

Created Seat

538 Court: D+69

This is the race that will likely dominate media coverage during the August 23rd primary election night. The newly created seat contains the Lower Manhattan region with an equal population share in Brooklyn.

The Democratic primary will determine the new Congressman from this district that was created when the neighboring 12th District became the site of a Democratic incumbent pairing. A total of 15 candidates are in the race, including 17th District Rep. Mondaire Jones who decided to seek re-election here instead of in his Westchester County seat, over an hour away. Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is also in this race along with two state Assembly members and a pair of NYC City Council members. There is no runoff in New York, so the winner here will likely claim the seat with only a small plurality.

District 11

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis* (R-Staten Island)

538 Court: R+11  Legislature: D+7   Current: R+13

Rep. Malliotakis unseated then-Rep. Max Rose (D) in the Staten Island anchored seat during the last election, and the Democratic legislature’s map would have made it very difficult for her to win re-election. The court, however, restored the 11th back to its traditional part of Brooklyn, thus giving her a reasonable victory path in 2022. Former Rep. Rose confirms that he will return for a re-match in the court-drawn new 11th CD. The district voting trends now make Rep. Malliotakis the favorite later this year, but we can expect Mr. Rose to wage a highly expensive and competitive battle in their re-match.

District 12

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan)

538 Court: D+68   Legislature: D+67    Current: D+67

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) and Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) are pitted against each other in the new 12th CD that covers Midtown Manhattan, including what is referred to as the Silk Stocking district. The seat is 61% of Rep. Maloney’s current territory and 39% from Mr. Nadler’s 10th CD. This will be a major primary race, sure to attract copious media attention, and likely to end in a close result. The winner of this pairing easily takes the general election.

District 16

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Yonkers)

538 Court: D+40   Legislature: D+36    Current: D+49

Freshman Rep. Bowman gets a safe Democratic seat for the general election, but he does face a credible primary challenge. Westchester County Legislator Vedat Gashi announced his challenge to Rep. Bowman weeks ago, claiming the new Congressman has not addressed the needs of the district.

When the court changed the map, much of Mr. Gashi’s current district went to another CD. As a result, fellow Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker joined the race. If both stay in, splitting the anti-incumbent vote will help the Congressman. If Gashi chooses not to file, then we will see a more serious challenge develop. Rep. Bowman remains the favorite in any case, but this will be another race to watch on primary election night.

Tomorrow, we will cover the latest happenings in Districts 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, and 25.

District 17

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring)

538 Court: D+7  Legislature: D+10 Current: D+17

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Sean Patrick Maloney raised the ire of many local Westchester County Democrats and others around the state when he announced for the new 17th CD instead of running in his traditional 18th CD where 71% of his current constituents reside. Rep. Maloney was forcing a pairing with freshman incumbent Rep. Mondaire Jones until the latter man announced he was moving into New York City to run in the new open 10th CD.

Soon after Rep. Jones’ decision became public, state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), who had already announced for the open 3rd District, decided to instead challenge Rep. Maloney, calling him a “selfish corporate Democrat” for his move to force a pairing with Rep. Jones. Mr. Maloney retorted that his home was placed in new District 17, thus explaining his move. The 17th is also more favorable Democratic territory than the new 18th, which also turned many Democratic leaders against Rep. Maloney’s decision. Mr. Maloney will at least be a nominal favorite to win the party nomination, and the new 17th will remain under Democratic control.

District 18

Open Seat

538 Court: D+3 Legislature: D+3 Current: EVEN

The Maloney decision leaves the new 18th District wide open and could be primed for a Republican conversion. Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan is the only Democrat to announce in this district, but he is also talking about entering the neighboring 19th CD’s special election now that Rep. Antonio Delgado has left the seat to accept his appointment as Lt. Governor.

Republican Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor), who was running against Rep. Maloney in the previous 18th CD, remains in the district and appears to have the inside track for the Republican nomination. Considering the trends that may develop for the November election, Mr. Schmitt stands in good position to potentially take this seat away from the Democrats.

District 19

Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) Vacant Seat Special Election

538 Court: R+1 Legislature: D+4 Current: D+4

Republicans had been attempting to recruit Dutchess County Executive and former gubernatorial nominee Marc Molinaro into the congressional race for several cycles, and this year they succeeded. It remains to be seen who enters the special election to fill the balance of this term now that Rep. Delgado has departed for Albany as the state’s new Lt. Governor.

The special is scheduled concurrently with the congressional primary on August 23rd, so the candidate field has to settle before the electoral patterns become clear. Mr. Ryan is apparently considering running in the 19th special election and the 18th general, as previously mentioned, leaving the 19th regular election Democratic nomination potentially to attorney John Riley.

District 22

Rep. John Katko* (R-Syracuse) Open Seat

538 Court: D+2 Legislature: D+13  Current: D+4

Once Rep. Katko announced his retirement, the Democratic legislature also made this Syracuse anchored seat heavily Democratic. The court then returned the seat closer to its original draw and actually made it a bit more Republican than even the district that outgoing Rep. Katko currently represents. Four Democrats, all with local or state electoral experience are in the race. Republicans feature two candidates from the private sector. Once nominees are chosen, this seat will likely become highly competitive in the general election.

District 23

Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-Orchard Park)

538 Court: R+23 Legislature: R+25  Current: R+21

The 23rd yields another confusing situation. This district is currently vacant with the departure of Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning), and here, too, a late 2022 special election will occur. This is another instance, like those we’ve seen in both California and Texas, where a late special election winner won’t have a place to run in the regular election.

Rep. Chris Jacobs, whose 27th District was eliminated when New York lost a seat in reapportionment, has declared that he will run here in the general election. Since he still represents the 27th in the current Congress, Rep. Jacobs won’t be in the special election campaign, thus adding even more confusion to the NY political situation.

District 24

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) 538 Court: R+22  Legislature: R+26  Current: R+16

Ms. Tenney, first winning the current 22nd District in 2016, losing it in 2018, and then re-claiming the seat by 109 votes in the 2020 general election, looks to be one of the big Republican redistricting winners. Despite having to move to a neighboring district, she to date faces only one minor Republican opponent before claiming what will prove to be a safe Republican seat for as long as this map holds.

District 25

Rep. Joe Morrelle (D-Irondequoit/Rochester)

538 Court: D+13  Legislature: D+15 Current: D+18

Though the new 25th appears safely Democratic, should a Republican wave actually develop this seat could become competitive. Former Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary is the GOP candidate here, which makes him a well known political figure in the region. This is a potential watch campaign.

* denotes the candidate has received an AGC PAC contribution during the 2021-2022 election cycle. 


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