May 21, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Final New York congressional maps fuel NYC free-for-all

Rep. Mondaire Jones

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.). Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A court-appointed mapmaker on Saturday released the finalized version of New York's congressional maps, causing one congressman to jump several districts to avoid facing another incumbent.

Why it matters: The maps largely retain a key feature of the preliminary maps which had national Democrats in crisis mode this week: a slew of competitive districts that set the party back in its quest to keep the House.

  • Democrats in the state legislature proposed maps that would give them a shot at halving the number of GOP-held seats in the state, but a state appeals court struck down those maps and ordered new ones drawn by a special master.

Driving the news: Freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), who represents the New York City suburbs, launched a bid for the newly vacant 10th district, which covers parts of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn and is far from where he currently serves.

  • Jones, who is gay, pointed to the prominence of the LGBT community in the district, which includes the Stonewall Inn, in tweets announcing his bid.
  • "I’m excited to make my case for why I’m the right person to lead this district," he wrote. "I have worked hard to deliver real results for New York State."

The backdrop: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who leads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, announced a bid in a seat that is mostly comprised of Jones' current district.

  • That district includes Maloney's hometown, while Jones was drawn into Rep. Jamaal Bowman's (D-N.Y.) district. But the move, made immediately after the preliminary maps were published, drew fierce backlash from some Democrats.
  • Meanwhile, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who currently represents the 10th, was drawn into an upper Manhattan district with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a fellow longtime House member and committee chair.
  • Nadler's 30-year tenure has cultivated a crowded bench of prominent Democratic politicians in the district waiting in the wings.

The state of play: Jones joins an already crowded field of candidates that includes former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and state Sen. Brad Hoylman.

  • Others are likely to jump in soon: state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, for instance, is scheduled to make a "major announcement ... about her electoral plans" on Saturday.
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