BUFFALO, N.Y. — After the 2020 census numbers came out, we found out New York would be losing a seat in Congress - going from 27 districts to 26 - meaning the maps have to be redrawn.
The state legislature, controlled by Democrats, would have to approve the plans in order for the changes to happen. And these maps of the latest proposal revealed this weekend show big changes for districts now represented by Republicans Chris Jacobs and Tom Reed. The district represented by Democrat Brian Higgins would remain mostly unchanged.
But the districts represented by Jacobs and Reed, who is retiring at the end of his term, would be redrawn.
Jacobs announced Monday he'd be running for reelection in the new 24th District if these maps are approved.
"The Democrats deserve a gold medal for gerrymandering. I mean, for all of the things we heard over the last few months about protecting voter rights and the sanctity of the ballot and all their sanctimony, I thought that this map is a master class in gerrymandering," says Christopher Grant.
Christopher Grant, a Republican campaign consultant at Big Dog Strategies weighed in on that district.
"The core of that district in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, a piece of Orleans, Monroe, so that all stays the same. Yes, you have to go a little bit more north and east up there towards Fort Drum, but I think Congressman Jacobs is going to be just fine. He's become an expert at running in districts that he's not necessarily familiar with and he's proven very successful at it," said Grant.
Chris Lee is an associate professor of political science at Niagara University.
"I didn't see anything that looked like egregious in it. I mean, of course, whenever redistricting occurs in any state usually the party, the majority party in the legislature tries to draw the lines so that it benefits them," said Chris Lee.
2 On Your Side also asked Lee about the proposed 24th District and Congressman Jacobs.
"He will probably have to expand his net a little bit and try to win over more maybe people who are Independents and things like that because also there will be a lot of Independents in that group as well, so it's not like he can't win, but just like with any politician, if your district changes or is merged with something else, you might have to kind of change your tactics a little bit, but it's not like a slam dunk or anything for any opponent of his," said Lee.
And while both think this map will be approved, their views on potential litigation differ.
"I think they will be approved because I don't know that the lines are so, again, so extreme that it would fall, it would, you know, succumb under some gerrymandering challenge or something, you know, I don't think so, but I can't tell the future exactly of course, but I've seen worse lines kind of go through in other states," said Lee.
"I think you'll see Governor Hochul sign into law these maps and then it's going to be incumbent on the courts, and sometimes those court cases can take a long time. You got a series of cases in Pennsylvania and North Carolina where districts were changed in 2020 that stems from cases that had been filed after the last redistricting ten years ago," said Grant.