The recently released draft of the redrawn New York congressional map has sparked chaos within the Democratic Party, with the latest version pitting multiple members against each other in potential primaries.
Top lawmakers in the state have blasted the latest proposal, which was crafted by a nonpartisan special master after the initial map was struck down by a New York judge who ruled that it was too heavily gerrymandered in favor of Democrats; it is expected to be challenged in the courts.
“The draft redistricting map viciously targets historic Black representation in NY, and places 4 Black members of Congress into the same district,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said on social media.
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“This tactic would make Jim Crow blush. The draft map is unacceptable, unconscionable and unconstitutional.”
Under the new map, Jeffries and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Yvette Clarke (D-NY) would both see their homes fall in the 9th Congressional District. With the 8th District being an open seat, one of the two lawmakers is likely to run in the adjacent district.
But other members in the delegation face a tougher time in avoiding a member-versus-member battle, with freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) having to choose whether to face off against fellow left-wing freshman Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) or Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney if the map is finalized.
“This is voter suppression. It can be explained in no other fashion. The perfidious decision by the so-called ‘special master’ is yet another front in the war to steal the right to vote from Black and Brown communities,” one senior Democratic operative said. “No one who’s paid attention to how people of color have been treated in America should be shocked at this pernicious edict.”
Maloney asserted that he plans to run in the 17th District on Monday, reiterating his decision to reporters on Tuesday.
“I'm running again, and the voters can figure everything else out,” he said when asked about the potential primary. “If the point is I should move my home where my kids grew up to run in a different district and so that someone else can move into it, I guess I don't understand that.”
Jones opted not to comment on whether he has made a decision on which district he plans to run in when asked by the Washington Examiner on Tuesday, but he took aim at Maloney for not informing him of his decision to run in the 17th District.
“Sean Patrick Maloney did not even give me a heads up before he went on Twitter to make that announcement. And I think that tells you everything you need to know about Sean Patrick Maloney,” Jones told Politico on Monday evening.
If Jones opts to challenge the DCCC chairman, it could pose complications to Maloney’s leadership role.
The map also tees up a race between House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), two of the most senior members in the lower chamber.
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The map is currently open for public comment until Friday, with the proposal expected to move toward finalization.
If the proposal is finalized, it creates a more narrow path for Democrats to hold the House majority in November, with significantly more seats being in play for Republicans. The previous Democratic-drawn version provided them with an edge in 22 of the 26 districts.