Want to drop a line to your congressman? You might be writing a different person after next year’s elections.
Congressional district lines are redrawn every ten years after the federal census, a process fraught with political angst.
For the first time this year, New York is using an independent bipartisan redistricting commission to draw its lines for Congress, the state Assembly and state Senate. See https://www.nyirc.gov (A federal court had to step in a decade ago.)
The 18th Congressional District will look very different
On Sept. 15, the commission took its first crack at a draft congressional district map. But Democrats and Republicans on the panel were not able to agree, so the panel released two versions of the map – a “names” plan for the G0P and a “letters” plan for the Democrats - with diametrically contrasting political consequences.
It scheduled a series of public hearings with the closest to Orange County being in White Plains on Nov. 8.
Orange County is in the 18th district represented by Democrat Sean Maloney, which also includes all of Putnam County, parts of southern Dutchess County and northeastern Westchester County.
Republican Colin Schmitt of New Windsor has announced his intention to run against Maloney, but neither of the two maps matches him against the incumbent congressman.
Brett Broge, Orange County’s Democratic Committee chairman, said it is possible that, when all is said and done, the redistricting process could move some southern Orange County towns, such as Monroe and Warwick, away from Maloney to a district now represented by Democratic congressmen Mondaire Jones of Nyack or Jamaal Bowman of Yonkers.
But Broge cautions that it is much too early to speculate on the final result. He added that it is unlikely the commission’s maps will survive the political jockeying of the next several months.
The state will get 26 congressional seats, one less than the current total.
What will the Democrat’s state legislative majority due?
There has been speculation that the state Legislature, with the Democrats now in a supermajority, will eventually take over the redistricting process and draw lines that eliminate several Republican seats as other states have done with Democratic seats.
How the process plays out nationwide will be crucial in determining whether the Democrats retain their control of the House of Representatives.