Morning Read: Redistricting delays “cloud” North Country politics

A major political fight is brewing over state Senate and Assembly district lines drawn up by politicians in Albany as part of the census-redistricting process.

Critics, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, described the political map released last month as biased in favor of protecting incumbents.

A court challenge is all but certain and the LATFOR commission hasn’t even released congressional boundaries yet.

The Watertown Daily Times is reporting today on what all that uncertainty means for candidates hoping to jump into races.

“I can’t imagine anybody who’s considering a serious run for any legislative seat in the state of New York not weighing the issue of redistricting,” said Brian S. McGrath, a Lewis County Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly in 2010 and won’t run again this year.

“Frankly, it’s probably the No. 1 consideration for most people contemplating runs at the moment. It was without question at the top of the list of things I was discussing with people in Albany when weighing my political future.”

Because potential challengers don’t know what districts will look like (or, in some cases, whether old districts will even still exist) it’s difficult to fundraise, build political networks, or secure petitions to get on the ballot.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, with the primary election for House races set for just five months away.

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4 Comments on “Morning Read: Redistricting delays “cloud” North Country politics”

  1. I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t an elaborate game of “chicken” by our venal legislators. Wait so long to draft the lines that it’s essentially daring Cuomo to veto them so close to the primary date.

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  2. Ken says:

    “Critics, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, described the political map released last month as biased in favor of protecting incumbents.”

    Wow! What an astounding observation by politicians no less. Never occurred before nor will it again.

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  3. That’s how “accountability” works in the NYS legislature. They get to pick to whom their accountable.

    I’m waiting for this “logic” to be applied to the justice system, so criminals can be judged by a jury of their friends and family.

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  4. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    The advantage to drawing this out goes to the Republicans because it creates an advantage for incumbent legislators simply because it is hard to mount a challenge to a district that hasn’t even been drawn yet.

    In the end district lines will be drawn by the courts because of the time-line of the primary. Ballots must be sent to overseas voters 50 days (someone please correct me if that number is wrong) before the primary on June 26.

    http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/New_York/News/2012/02_-_February/Judge_faults_N_Y__lawmakers,_adopts_new_primary_calendar/

    So if a person wants to run they must be on the ballot by the beginning of May — practically tomorrow. Hard to believe the courts will allow the redistricting to go beyond the first week of March if any sort of fairness and justice is to prevail.

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