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Democrats blast latest redistricting maps; Pundit says they set up Congressional 'Hunger Games'

New York redistricting sets off fierce scramble for seats
New York redistricting sets off fierce scramble for seats 02:35

NEW YORK -- A stunning decision redrawing maps for New York Congressional districts has set off a fierce scramble for seats, after a number of representatives found they no longer live in their districts, and others will have to run against each other.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, one consultant called it the Congressional equivalent of "The Hunger Games."

To hear angry Democrats tell it, the map redrawing the districts has created a circus -- a game of musical chairs where several lawmakers could find themselves without a seat when the music stops.

"A special master comes out with a map that puts four Black members of Congress in the same district? So, yes, we have a problem with these maps. It would make Jim Crow blush," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said.

READ MORENew Yorkers Protest New Redistricting Maps Drawn By State Legislature  

Under the proposed maps, Jeffries lives in Congresswoman Yvette Clarke's district, Grace Meng lives in Tom Suozzi's district, Nydia Velasquez lives in Nicole Malliotakis' district, Manhattan's Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney are in the same district, Sean Maloney lives in Mondaire Jones' district, and Jones lives in Jamaal Bowman's district.

"What we have is a judge appointing a master that has created a very hyper-partisan set of maps for these Congressional districts that is basically going to create the Democratic 'Hunger Games' here among our delegation in New York," political consultant Phil Walzak said.

The irony is that the original district lines were challenged by Republicans who said Democrats who drew the original lines were gerrymandering, seeking to create more Democratic seats to head off expected Republican gains in the national midterm elections. The state Court of Appeals agreed. Now, Democrats are making the same charge and demanding another do-over from the court.

"They need to fix the mess that was created," Jeffries said.

One person not complaining is Staten Island Republican Malliotakis, whose district originally included Democratic neighborhoods like Park Slope, Brooklyn. The new map puts Park Slope in a district that is now considered an open seat.

"The lines are certainly more fair than what the Democrats had put forward in their plan," Malliotakis said.

And about that open seat, Park Slope favorite son Bill de Blasio is said to be considering a run. Malliotakis suggested that since you have to live in your district, former Rep. Max Rose should set his sights on that seat instead of challenging her.

Both Democrats and Republicans say they're going to ask the upstate judge hearing the case to make changes before he gives final approval. A hearing will be held Friday. Depending on the judges' ruling, the case could go to the Court of Appeals again.

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