New York's court-appointed special master unveiled a congressional map proposal that would wipe out Democratic gains in the Empire State and make apportionment far more competitive than a prior enacted map.

If enacted, the map proposed Monday would likely result in a 15-5 Democrat-Republican split, with six seats being competitive — a significant dip from the likely 22-4 majority Democrats previously procured that had been struck down by a state court in late March.


"The new NY map proposed by court-appointed special master Jonathan Cervas leans into competitiveness," Dave Wasserman, a national elections analyst for Cook Political Report, tweeted. "Not unexpected, but this NY map is pretty bad news for Democrats. With so many competitive seats, it's not hard to envision a 16D-10R (or even 15D-11R) split on a great GOP night, which is a far cry from the 22D-4R rout Dems initially tried to gerrymander."

Both parties have been eyeing redistricting in New York due to the narrow balance of power in the House. Republicans need to win five seats to reclaim the majority they lost in 2018.

Democrats currently hold a 19-8 majority of the state's congressional seats, but the Empire State lost a seat due to slow population growth ahead of the most recent census. Now that the special master has released his proposal, the court will decide whether to enact the map or make adjustments. The court is expected to finalize the map by Friday.

Already, some Democrats have adjusted reelection plans in anticipation of the map becoming law. For example, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents the state's 18th Congressional District northwest of New York City, announced plans to run in the 17th Congressional District, sending him on a likely collision course with Rep. Mondaire Jones, who is widely considered a more progressive legislator.

So far, Jones, who currently represents the 17th Congressional District, has not announced plans to run in another district. A federal judge previously postponed the primary dates for congressional races from June 28 to Aug. 23.

The map announcement also prompted Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan to enter the race for Maloney's vacated seat in the 18th Congressional District.

Another notable change is that the map would merge the Upper East Side and Upper West Side into a single district in New York City: the 12th Congressional District. The two had long been separate districts, but now, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) are in the same district, poised for a primary battle against one another.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the House Democratic leadership, saw his home cut from the 8th Congressional District he represents, though that does not preclude him from pursuing reelection there. Republican prospects in the 3rd Congressional District and 22nd Congressional District are also significantly more favorable than the prior map.

In March, the state Supreme Court struck down the state's congressional map after determining it was unconstitutional because the Democrat-led state legislature failed to follow the constitutional process of going through the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission. The IRC had reached a deadlock earlier in the year. Democrats in the legislature used that as an excuse to pass their own maps for congressional and state legislative districts.

Last month, the court selected Jonathan Cervas, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University, as the special master. Democrats appealed the decision to the New York State Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, but it upheld that ruling late last month.


Cervas is expected to unveil his recommendations for the state Senate map later Monday. The state Senate map had been tossed out by the state Supreme Court alongside the congressional map. Notably, the state General Assembly map was left in place despite the judge finding it unconstitutional because the plaintiffs did not challenge the map in a timely manner.

New York is one of four states without legally binding congressional maps, alongside Kansas, Missouri, and New Hampshire.