New York Dems rush new congressional maps in proposal that would reelect Reps. Tom Suozzi, Jamaal Bowman

Governor Kathy Hochul speaking at Google's ribbon cutting ceremony in Manhattan.
Governor Kathy Hochul speaking at Google's ribbon cutting ceremony in Manhattan.
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New York State Democrats had already drawn up new congressional maps Tuesday that could tip the scales in several battleground elections – just hours after they trashed a bipartisan group’s boundaries.

The Democrat-led state Legislature is now rushing to get their version of the maps across the finish line with a vote coming as soon as Wednesday in reshaped districts that appear to give the inside track to reelection to Reps. Tom Suozzi and Jamaal Bowman.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said Gov. Kathy Hochul could issue an emergency order that would bypass a requirement that action on legislation must wait at least three days to allow for public review.

Reps. Tom Suozzi and Jamaal Bowman are beneficiaries under the new congressional redistricting plan proposed by fellow Democrats in the state Legislature, sources said Tuesday. REUTERS
Reps. Tom Suozzi and Jamaal Bowman are beneficiaries under the new congressional redistricting plan proposed by fellow Democrats in the state Legislature, sources said Tuesday. REUTERS

“We hope so,” Heastie said of a rushed vote.

“We would need the governor’s assistance to do it tomorrow. We are in discussions with the governor.”

The plan was introduced in the Assembly and Senate late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Hochul said she’s considering waiving the three-day requirement as candidates have already begun the process of gathering signatures to appear on election ballots as of Tuesday.

Democrats were expected to reshape districts more favorable to their candidates after they rejected an Independent Redistricting Commission’s proposed maps on Monday.

But the Democrats largely adhered to the IRC map — with surgical tweaks to boundaries rather than dramatic changes, a move political veterans told The Post gives them a better chance of withstanding court challenges.

Under the most recent maps, Suozzi’s 3rd Congressional District in Long Island’s Nassau County and Queens would become skew slightly more Democrat.

Conservative-leaning Massapequa would be cut out of the district, which would instead snake into Suffolk County to include more Democratic areas such as the town of Huntington.

Suozzi won a special election earlier this month to replace expelled Republican ex-Rep. George Santos, defeating GOP candidate Mazi Pilip by 8-percentage points.

Massapequa would end up in the 2nd Congressional District, which is now represented by Long Island GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said Gov. Kathy Hochul could issue an emergency order that would bypass a requirement that action on legislation must wait at least three days to allow for public review. AP
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said Gov. Kathy Hochul could issue an emergency order that would bypass a requirement that action on legislation must wait at least three days to allow for public review. AP

More surprising to some political insiders were changes made in the Bronx, which could have an effect on a Democratic Party primary fight in the 16th Congressional District, The Bronx and Westchester County seat is held by Bowman, a two-term incumbent member of the House of Representatives liberal-leaning “Squad” that also includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Democrats’ map makers put heavily black Co-Op City back into the 16th after the neighborhood was removed by a court monitor two years ago. It also removes Wakefield, also a heavily black neighborhood.

Co-Op City with 40,000 residents has been in the district of AOC, whose district will be altered to include more of the south Bronx.

Bowman, who is black, is believed to need heavy support in predominantly African-American portions of the district to beat back a serious primary challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer, who is expected to have strong returns in the suburbs.

“My constituents in Co-Op City vote,” said state Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx), whose district overlaps partially with the 16th.

Hochul said she’s considering waiving the three-day requirement as candidates have already begun the process of gathering signatures to appear on election ballots as of Tuesday. Robert Miller
Hochul said she’s considering waiving the three-day requirement as candidates have already begun the process of gathering signatures to appear on election ballots as of Tuesday. Robert Miller

But a Bronx party insider said the proposed new lines are “slightly better” for Bowman though the new maps are “not a generous change.”

The insider said Bowman would have benefitted more if both Wakefield and Co-Op City in the Northeast Bronx were included in the new map.

The Westchester part of the district was not tampered with, a potential plus for Latimer, insiders noted.

The new maps would also largely leave untouched the 17th District of first-term Republican Rep. Michael Lawler in the Hudson Valley. Some minor changes would take hold in Districts 18 and 19 represented by Democratic incumbents Pat Ryan and Republican Marc Molinaro, respectively, the proposed new maps show.

“This is a not an aggressive gerrymander,” one Republican Party operative told The Post.

Democrats were expected to reshape districts more favorable to their candidates after they rejected an Independent Redistricting Commission’s proposed maps on Monday, though they largely adhered to the IRC map. AP
Democrats were expected to reshape districts more favorable to their candidates after they rejected an Independent Redistricting Commission’s proposed maps on Monday, though they largely adhered to the IRC map. AP

“The Legislature’s proposal in most cases is similar if not identical to what the IRC proposed,” said Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Center.

Jeff Wice, a senior fellow with the New York Census and Redistricting Institute at New York Law School, said, “The map is a far cry from Republican fears of a Democratic sweep.”

“The new maps slightly help Democrats but it’s not enough for the courts to say it’s a partisan overreach,” said Wice, who previously served counsel on redistricting for Democrats in the Assembly and Senate over four decades.

In 2022, Democrats in the Senate and Assembly drew up the House maps after Democratic and Republicans on the IRC failed to reach a consensus.

But the courts struck down the maps as unconstitutional for giving partisan advantage to Democrats and appointed a monitor to draw the House lines.

In a bizarre turn of events, however, the state’s highest court — the Court of Appeals with a new chief judge — reversed itself last December and ordered a do-over, dealing a blow to Republicans.

Redistricting of legislative seats is done every 10 years to account for changes in the state’s population.

But New York has been forced to revisit the lightning rod issue after just two years, thanks to the political and legal mess left by lawmakers and the courts.

Former Long Island Republican Congressman and 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin said Democrats should stop playing games with New York’s House districts.

“Democrats continue to hijack the redistricting process solely for self-serving political gain. They have shown complete and utter disregard for the state Constitution and the will of New York voters,” Zeldin said.

“If Democrats continue to mess with New Yorkers’ right to free and fair elections, voters should return the favor by filling these Dems with extensive regret at the ballot box in November.”