Watch CBS News

New York State Legislature unveils new maps for 26 congressional districts

NYS Legislature unveils new maps for 26 congressional districts
NYS Legislature unveils new maps for 26 congressional districts 03:14

NEW YORK -- With the balance of power in the House of Representatives hanging in the balance, state lawmakers on Tuesday finally unveiled the maps for New York's 26 congressional districts.

The most dramatic effects will be felt on Long Island, and in the Hudson Valley and Central New York, but there will be battles everywhere.

Get ready for a season of power politics at its finest as Democrats and Republicans prepare for a series of bloody mano-a-mano skirmishes. At stake is which party gets to claim the title of king of the mountain in Washington. Both sides are desperate for victory.

CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane explained why.

"If even just a couple of New York House seats switch, balance of power truly could pivot on that. That's why it's not just New York lawmakers and people who live in New York who care about this. The whole political nation cares about this," MacFarlane said.

READ MORENew York State Legislature votes down newly redrawn congressional maps

Which is why, when the Democratically-controlled New York Legislature re-drew the congressional maps, being ever so careful not to be too greedy to avoid a court challenge, they protected two Democrats, made it more difficult for two Republicans, and slyly left some seats, like Mike Lawler's Dutchess County district, unchanged.

"This is a district Joe Biden won by 10 points in 2020. There are 70,000 more Democrats than Republicans. It's home to Bill and Hillary Clinton and George Soros," Lawler said.

Translation: Albany Democrats and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, who through proxies was actively involved in the decisions, think they have a good shot of flipping the seat.

Lawler begs to differ.

"I feel confident about the work that we have done, the bipartisan work that were have done. I'm confident that come come November, regardless of what the district lines will be, we will be victorious," Lawler said.

Lawler is the only Republican expected to have a fight on his hands. The new maps add Democratic voters to Marc Molinaro's Rockland County district and Brandon Williams' Syracuse district. And while they probably fall into the category of unhappy campers, newly elected Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi and controversial Westchester County Rep. Jamaal Bowman are probably happy campers.

Suozzi lost red-leaning Massapequa while picking up blue-leaning Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington Station.

Bowman asked for, and got, Co-Op City added to his district, which is expected to help him fend off a challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris pointed out that of the 10 districts that were tweaked, six actually helped Republicans.

"They should really take a deep breath and realize that this proposal is fair and not intended to advantage or disadvantage anyone in particular," Gianaris said.

The new district lines have already claimed one casualty. Democrat Jim Gaughran decided to fold his tents, announcing he will no longer seek the Democratic nomination to run against Long Island Republican Nick LaLota.

LaLota's district is one that received an infusion of GOP voters.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.