The East End’s congressional district once again stretched to Nassau County under the latest court-ordered revisions to New York State’s lines amid legal challenges to the decennial redistricting process.
Steuben County court appointed special master Jonathan Cervas released final versions of new Congressional and state Senate maps just minutes before his May 20 deadline. Judge Patrick McAllister quickly approved them. The state’s 1st Congressional District includes all five Twin Forks towns and stretches across the entire North Shore of Suffolk County to Huntington.
“New York’s 1st Congressional District is now one of the most competitive districts in the country,” said Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), the frontrunner in the Democratic primary race.
The changes came after the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission failed to reach a consensus on reapportionment required following the census, punted responsibility to the Democratic-controlled state Legislature, and the top appeals court in the state ruled in favor of a Republican lawsuit claiming makers gerrymandered the lines to their electoral advantage.
The Legislature’s version of the East End district spanned from the Twin Forks, through Democratic-leaning minority communities in the middle of Suffolk County, and included a chunk of eastern Nassau. A state-appointed special master initially redrew the district to instead lump all of the towns of Brookhaven and Smithtown with the East End. The final version instead cut out the South Shore of Brookhaven town and added the Town of Huntington, which abuts the county line.
It was not clear as of press time if additional legal challenges may ensue before the congressional primary, which was moved from June 28 to August 23. The state Senate districts were also revised by the special master, although tweaks to the East End’s district were not as dramatic.