Whoever wins the race in the 3rd Congressional District this fall could have constituents in parts of the Bronx and Westchester counties, according to redistricting lines presented by state legislators on Sunday.
Currently, the district, held by U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), a gubernatorial candidate, includes Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Great Neck and Floral Park, among other areas, and stretches from Whitestone, Queens, to Kings Park in Suffolk County. The proposed redistricting would add several areas in Westchester County and the Bronx.
Melanie D’Arrigo, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the district, criticized the layout of the new district in a statement and claimed the proposed lines are an example of “extreme” gerrymandering.
“There is no discernible reason to draw a district that leapfrogs the Long Island Sound in an attempt to loosely tie together Long Island, Queens, The Bronx, and Westchester,” D’Arrigo said. “Constituent services will be more difficult, more expensive and less efficient: the needs of someone living on the border of Connecticut being wildly different from someone in Huntington.”
D’Arrigo, a Port Washington resident, ran against Suozzi in 2020, ultimately losing to the congressman. D’Arrigo said voters should not be used as “political pawns,” advocating for “real representation” in each district throughout the state.
Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D-Woodbury), who was just re-elected to the county’s 18th Legislative District, is also running for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Congressional District.
His spokesperson Ross M. Wallenstein said: “This proposed third congressional district is still more than 60 percent based on Long Island and it deserves a pragmatic Democrat to represent it in Washington. Legislator Lafazan has the energy and the enthusiasm to criss-cross the entire new district from end to end, talking with voters and explaining his vision for what he will do as their next member of Congress.”
The 4th Congressional District, currently represented by U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), would add the villages of East Williston, Williston Park, Lake Success and Mineola and unincorporated parts of the Town of North Hempstead.
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Nick Langworthy, chairman of the state’s Republican Party, criticized the Democratic officials who presented the proposed redistricting for “circumventing the will of the people” in a statement.
“For all of their phony protestations about transparency and fairness in elections, what they’re doing is textbook filthy, partisan gerrymandering that is clearly in violation of the New York State Constitution,” Langworthy said. “We are reviewing all of our legal options to protect the voices of millions of New Yorkers.”
Officials said a vote on the proposed congressional map could be held as soon as Wednesday.
On a more local level, Nassau County’s redistricting process is set to begin next month, with the development of an advisory commission tasked with drawing new lines that can be submitted to the Legislature. The membership, according to the county charter, is consisted of 11 unpaid members, five of whom are appointed by the presiding officer, five by the minority leader and one nonvoting member appointed by the county executive.
The county has a May 7 deadline to establish that committee so it can make recommendations to the County Legislature for how the 19 districts should be ordered ahead of Jan. 1.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation that required county redistricting to follow guidelines that aim to promote fairness and not favor parties. The legislation states that district lines must consist of contiguous territory, be drawn nearly equal in population as is practicable, promote orderly and efficient election administration and not be drawn with the intent to deter certain minority groups from participating in elections.
“As bad actors across the country work to undermine public faith in our electoral institutions, the importance of clear and uniform rules to govern political representation has never been more critical,” Hochul said. “This law will ensure the entirety of our state is governed by rules that are derived directly from the federal and state constitutions and ensure the right to equal participation in our political process.”
Gerrymandering is done by bother “major” parties and it ought to be illegal. This is not the way to have free and fair elections.
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