5 changes in the new Democratic proposal for New York's congressional maps

ALBANY, New York — Democrats who dominate the state Legislature have introduced the new congressional maps that they plan to pass this week.

Their proposal was introduced seven hours after Democrats rejected plans drawn by the state’s redistricting commission.

Despite the rejection, the maps are not dramatically different from the lines the commission drew.

Outside of the Syracuse-area seat held by Republican Rep. Brandon Williams, the electoral math won’t be much more than a rounding error difference from the lines that were drawn by a court in 2022 and used in that year’s elections.

It's unclear when the Legislature will vote on the lines. If it waits the three days under law to pass a bill, the vote would be Thursday. Or Gov. Kathy Hochul could issue a message of necessity to allow the vote sooner.

Hochul told reporters Tuesday that no decision had been made.

"I have options available to me. I’m having conversations now," the Democratic governor said. "This is a request that has to come from the Legislature anyhow before I would entertain it."

Here’s a look at what would be changed:

Long Island

The lines would move the eastern border of Rep. Tom Suozzi’s northern Nassau County district a few miles to the east, capturing a sliver of Suffolk County.

The net result would be a slight boost for Suozzi.

The district he won a special election in earlier this month gave President Joe Biden 54.1 percent of the vote in 2020. People who live within the lines of the new proposed one gave Biden 55.7 percent of the vote, according to numbers generated by the Graduate Center at CUNY.

The shift also would provide very modest bumps for the two Republican incumbents who live in Suffolk County. GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino’s seat, for example, would go from a 49.2 percent Biden seat to a 48.8 percent Biden seat.

Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s seat

The Legislature’s proposal for New York City was almost identical to the lines drawn by the commission.

The only changes occurred in the Bronx — most notably, in the northern portion near Bowman’s Westchester-based district.

Bowman first won in 2020 in a seat that linked southern Westchester with Bronx neighborhoods like Co-op City and Riverdale. The court’s lines changed to make Wakefield the only portion of the Bronx that it was joined with.

The Legislature’s plan would remove most of Wakefield and brings Co-op City back into the district. That’s a change that has been pushed for by multiple advocates in recent weeks — linking Co-op City with places like Mount Vernon would unite nearby communities with majority Black populations.

But the shift wouldn't drastically change the demographics of the district as Bowman prepares for a primary challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Currently, 21 percent of the district’s population is Black; the change would increase this to 21.3 percent.

Rep. Pat Ryan’s seat

The commission had split Orange County, moving a portion of it from Ryan’s district to the nearby one held by Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro. The Legislature’s lines would keep Orange County entirely in Ryan’s district.

Most of the other changes aren’t different from the lines that were used to 2022. Most of the other changes to Ryan's district would involve swapping towns in Ulster County with Molinaro’s seat.

Ryan’s seat would lose the blue-friendly towns of Marbletown and Rosendale and gain the blue-trending Saugerties and the deep-blue Woodstock. Molinaro would gain the Republican-friendly town of Shawangunk and gain the Republican-friendly town of Ulster.

The net result is that district (which was 54.2 percent for Biden in its iteration for the past two years, and 55.7 percent in the plan drawn by the commission) would now be a district that gave Biden 54.6 percent of the vote.

Rep. Marc Molinaro’s seat

Molinaro’s district underwent the most significant changes. But even those didn’t dramatically change the electoral math.

In addition to the swaps with Ryan in Ulster County, Molinaro’s district would drop Tioga County and parts of Cortland County to districts to his west. It would pick up parts of Rensselaer and Otsego counties from Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Yet even after all that, the numbers are basically the same. Molinaro won in 2022 in a 52.3 percent Biden district; it would be a 52.2 percent Biden district.

Other seats of note

The Syracuse-area seat held by Republican Rep. Brandon Williams would be exactly the same as it was in the commission’s lines. It would pick up Cortland and Auburn, making it a few points more Democratic-friendly than when Williams narrowly won in 2022.

So would the Hudson Valley district won by Republican Rep. Mike Lawler.

The lines from both the commission and the Legislature swap a few blocks in southern Dutchess County between Ryan and Lawler, but otherwise leave the swing seat untouched.