Long Island’s redrawn congressional districts unveiled

Long Island’s redrawn congressional districts unveiled
Newly-drawn congressional maps were unveiled on Monday. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Cervas)

Newly drawn congressional maps were unveiled Monday, with some experts believing the redistricted lines could give an advantage to Republican candidates.

The maps were submitted by a court-appointed “special master” and have been viewed as more neutral compared to ones that were rejected by a state appeals court several weeks ago. Dave Wasserman, a national elections analyst with the Cook Political Report, told The New York Times that “Democrats could lose a lot of ground this fall and that could drive a stake through their hopes of keeping the House majority.”

Earlier this year, Patrick McAllister, a state Supreme Court judge, rejected the maps saying they were “unconstitutionally drawn with political bias.”

Some of the changes in the previously approved congressional maps included the state’s 3rd District stretching into parts of the Bronx and Westchester counties.

While the 3rd District under the new proposal doesn’t extend as far West into the Bronx and Westchester counties, it does stretch to more southern parts of Nassau County such as Hicksville and Massapequa. The new lines do exclude the parts of the district that stretch into Suffolk County, mainly Huntington and Smithtown.

Democrat candidates for the 3rd Congressional District — Robert Zimmerman, Joshua Lafazan, Jon Kaiman and Melanie D’Arrigo — said the newly drawn lines will not impact what they plan to do if elected.

“Regardless of the map, the issues that brought me into this race remain of vital importance to our communities. If the map proposed today is adopted, I plan to run in New York’s 3rd District,” Zimmerman said. “We will win a Democratic primary and deliver a victory in November for the people of Nassau and Queens.”

“As a common sense Democrat, I have spent over a decade in public service fighting for the issues that matter to Long Islanders, and I will continue to do so in my run for NY-03,” Lafazan said. “Every day I remain focused on affordable and accessible health care, lower taxes and common sense gun laws and that will never change.”

“Given the new maps today, I am proud to continue running for Congress in New York’s 3rd Congressional District,” Kaiman said. “I am taking the fight to Washington, and will never stop working on behalf of residents in my district. We will keep NY03 blue in November.”

“I was born and raised in the South Shore of Long Island, started my family in Queens, and now raise my family in Nassau,” D’Arrigo said. “The new NY-03 Congressional coundaries reflect the community I’ve spent years organizing in before I ever considered a run for Congress-and I am proud to keep that fight up as we head towards the August 23, 2022 primary.”

George Santos, a Republican candidate for the third district seat said the newly-drawn lines may give his party the upperhand.

“Based on these maps, I am even more confident in a fair fight that will end in victory this November,” Santos said. “Taxpayers want change. Inflation is soaring. Gas prices continue to rise. Moms can’t find formula to feed their babies. Rent is out of control. Crime is on the rise. My platform puts New York families first, cuts taxes, reduces out-of-control inflation, and gets our economy back on track. Now more than ever, I am hopeful, positive, and confident in securing a victory in November.”

Currently, the district, held by U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who is now running for the Democratic nomination for governor, includes Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Great Neck and Floral Park, among other areas, and stretches from Whitestone, Queens, to Kings Park in Suffolk County.

No major changes were featured in the 4th Congressional District, which includes central and southern Nassau County, including Floral Park, Garden City, Hempstead, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park and Westbury.

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation that required county redistricting to follow guidelines that aim to promote fairness and not favor parties. The legislation states that district lines must consist of contiguous territory, be drawn nearly equal in population as is practicable,  promote orderly and efficient election administration and not be drawn with the intent to deter certain minority groups from participating in elections.

“As bad actors across the country work to undermine public faith in our electoral institutions, the importance of clear and uniform rules to govern political representation has never been more critical,” Hochul said. “This law will ensure the entirety of our state is governed by rules that are derived directly from the federal and state constitutions and ensure the right to equal participation in our political process.”

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