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Snappy Sunrise, by Mel Hunt

Draft map of new congressional districts in New York has arrived


23rd US Congressional District now extends into the Buffalo suburbs

Political hopefuls across New York got the first look at a nearly finalized re-districting of the state. In Western New York, the new dividing lines didn’t give much comfort to anyone but, Cathy Young. The 23rd has largely stayed the same except for some expansion north into the southwestern suburbs of Buffalo. While several politicians were preparing to capitalize on a new landscape, the draft indicates that won’t happen this decade.

Young’s decision to run for Congress is still unknown, but a key qualifier was that the new districts largely remained the same. In Western New York, almost all urban populations are Democratic and rural populations are strongly Republican. Cathy Young has already governed over much of what the updated 23rd district will look like. The seasoned former NY State Senator enjoys name recognition and a strong support system in Western New York.

Current State Senator George Borrello enjoys name recognition and popularity in southwestern New York, but not so much in Steuben, Chemung, and Tioga counties. Steuben County Republican Chairman Joe Sempolinski, faces a similar issue being well known in Hornell, Corning, and Elmira but he isn’t on the radar with voters in Chautauqua or Cattaraugus County. Sitting Congresswoman from the 22nd district, Claudia Tenney, who has been seriously looking at the congressional seat appeared to be hedging on the likelihood that the 23rd would move northeast where she enjoys strong support.

Democratic candidate Max Della Pia, who’s political fortunes in this race depended on a major revamping of the district, must be disappointed. In fact it seems the draft map produced by the special master indicates a political blow to the NY Democratic party statewide. Analysts agree that the proposed final re-districting provides a slight edge for state Republicans and gave the ruling “Dems” almost none of the advantage they had hoped for.

State political warriors will have the rest of the week to lobby for changes before the re-districting is finalized by Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Patrick F. McAllister on Friday May 20.

Look for news from multiple state and federal politicians in the coming days on what is next for the 23rd US Congressional District.

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