Proposed New York Congressional Maps Set Up Primary Battlegrounds For High-Profile Democrats
Pushpin pointing Albany city, New York state capital, over more than fifty years old map
Pushpin pointing Albany city, New York state capital, over more than fifty years old map

A number of high-profile House Democrats may be forced to campaign against one another in New York’s Democratic primaries, under new House maps released Monday.

New York Special Master Jonathan Cervas released his maps for the New York State Senate and Congressional delegation. Cervas, a professor of political science at Carnegie Mellon University, was appointed by the New York State Supreme Court to oversee the redrawing of district maps, after the New York State Court of Appeals struck down the maps as partisan gerrymanders. The newly-drawn Congressional maps create primary battlegrounds in two districts where high-profile incumbent Democrats will have to campaign against one another.

The first intra-party battleground is in New York’s 12th Congressional District. The seat is currently held by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and encompasses the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn. Maloney’s district currently borders New York’s 10th District, which encompasses the Upper West Side, as well as Midtown and Lower Manhattan, and parts of Brooklyn. The district is held by Rep. Jerry Nadler. But under the new maps, both Nadler and Maloney’s homes would be in the 12th District, putting them into a primary against one another.

Both Nadler and Maloney are powerful and longtime members of the Democratic Caucus. Nadler is the chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, and is a member of the House Progressive Caucus. He won a special election in September 1992 to replace the late Rep. Ted Weiss, and was elected to a full term that November. Maloney was also elected to Congress in 1992. She is the chairwoman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, and the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee. She is also a member of the Progressive Caucus.

Both Nadler and Maloney released statements to Twitter announcing their intention to run in the 12th District. “I believe these newly proposed lines by the Special Master violate the NYS constitutional requirements of keeping communities of interest together and keeping the cores of existing districts largely intact,” Nadler wrote on Twitter Monday. “However, provided that they become permanent, I very much look forward to representing the people of the newly created 12th District of New York.”

“I am proud to announce that I will be running to continue to represent the 12th Congressional District,” Maloney wrote. “A majority of the communities in the newly redrawn NY-12 are ones I have represented for years and to which I have deep ties.”

The second high-profile battleground is the 16th Congressional District. Cook Political Report House Editor Dave Wasserman reports that Rep. Mondaire Jones, who currently represents the 17th Congressional District, will be on a collision course with fellow Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the newly-drawn 16th. Jones serves on the Judiciary, Education, and Democratic Steering Committees, and is one of two openly gay black members of Congress. He is also the co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. Bowman is the only male member of the “Squad” and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He also serves on the Education and Science Committees. Jones and Bowman are both members of the Congressional Black and Progressive Caucuses.

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