A federal magistrate judge on Tuesday released her own plan for carving the state into 27 congressional districts, increasing pressure on state lawmakers to reach their own deal as the clock winds down on a potential compromise.
Like separate maps proposed by the Senate and Assembly majorities last week, U.S. Magistrate Roanne Mann’s proposal would drop the Southern Tier and mid-Hudson Valley seat of retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a Democrat who will leave Congress at the end of the year. Mann’s map would put Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, in a district containing most of Monroe County, including the city of Rochester.
The Monroe towns of Hamlin, Wheatland, Mendon and Rush would be placed in a western New York district currently without an incumbent, though it includes the former residence of Rep. Kathy Hochul. A Democrat, Hochul moved from Hamburg to Amherst in Erie County after winning a special election last year. Hochul was placed in the same district as Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo.
In the Hudson Valley, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, would see her district pick up all of Rockland County in addition to Westchester’s northwestern towns. Parts of Rockland County currently belong to the district of Rep. Eliot Engel, D-Bronx, who would see his lines shift to include the southernmost municipalities in Westchester, including all of Yonkers and New Rochelle.
The district of Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-Bedford, would stay relatively in tact, including Westchester’s northwestern towns and all of Putnam and Orange counties.
Mann’s map was released a week ahead of schedule, one day after she held a hearing in Brooklyn that centered on whether she should consider where incumbents live while drafting her own map. She will hold another public hearing on the maps on March 15 in federal court in Brooklyn, and then would have three days to finalize her maps. The petitioning period for potential congressional candidates to get on a primary ballot begins March 20.
Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans, unable to reach a deal on their own, filed separate proposals in court last week. Both agreed on eliminating Hinchey’s seat, but varied widely in how they split up New York City’s outer boroughs and large swaths of upstate. The two sides have continued negotiations, and could still come to a compromise before Mann’s work is finished.
The state’s congressional delegation will be reduced from 29 to 27 beginning in 2013, because of slow population growth.
Here’s Mann’s proposal, posted early this morning: