Of all the impacts today’s state of the state speech could have on the North Country, the biggest could be any signs of a looming fight over political redistricting.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened to veto any plan that’s not drawn up by an independent commission.
The Albany Times Union is urging him to take on that fight, accusing lawmakers of “lying” about their commitment to reforming this process.
This matters regionally because this round of redistricting could have tectonic impacts in the North Country, affecting three congressional districts, three state Senate seats, and a half-dozen Assembly districts.
So far — to cite one big example — Republican Rep. Chris Gibson doesn’t face high-profile opposition in this year’s race for the NY-20 seat.
But if his district gets pushed around a lot, gaining a bunch of Democratic neighborhoods downstate and possibly losing his more conservative North Country turf, that could bring challengers out of the woodwork.
Various redistricting plans could also affect Assembly Democrat Addie Russell and Republican Teresa Sayward in profound ways.
And finally, we could see various North Country Senators — they’re all Republican — forced to duke it out if their districts are smushed together.
Today we’ll learn whether Governor Cuomo plans to play a large role in shaping all that. And it’s a process that has to mo ve quickly, with election day now just about ten months away. Stay tuned.