continued “(The maps) are definitely drawn to protect incumbents rather than represent the people,” said Mahoney. “One of the big things they do is in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, puts many more people in the districts in New York City which is a very Democratic part of the state. In upstate, which has more Republicans … there are fewer people in each district so it creates more districts that swing their way.”
Mahoney said the exact opposite holds true in the Assembly, which is Democrat controlled.
“They build up their strengths downstate more than it should be and make upstate lack the representation it deserves,” said Mahoney.
The proposed redistricting maps can be drawn up every 10 years during a census to accommodate population shifts. The LATFOR consists of six members but the party controlling the Assembly or Senate chamber generally has control of the redistricting for that body. This year’s maps contain what some longtime legislators believe to be the most extreme examples of gerrymandering they’ve ever seen.
“This is my fourth redistricting. … This is the most change that I’ve ever had,” said Sen. Hugh Farley, R-Glenville, who represents the 44th. “I’m going to end up with one of the largest districts in the state.”
Farley is losing Montgomery County, Rotterdam, Duanesburg and Princetown and picking up more of Saratoga County and some of Herkimer and Hamilton counties. He said he’s “familiar” with the new territory and that it’s quite Republican, but it would be sad to say goodbye to some towns he’s represented for 36 years.
“It’s always hard to lose good friends like that,” said Farley.
Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, of the 110th Assembly district also saw quite a bit of change to his territory, losing all of Saratoga County.
“This is my fourth redistricting I’ve been through. It’s always a bit disconcerting; there’s a lot of anxiety when you represent a specific district like the City of Niskayuna and build up some great relationships, friendships and constituents,” said Tedisco. “I’ve done that and certainly I’ll miss that if this comes to fruition.”