May 12, 2022 By Christian Murray
The New York Assembly races will go ahead as planned on June 28, despite a legal challenge saying that the district maps needed to be redrawn and the primaries delayed.
Justice Patrick McAllister of Steuben County Supreme Court agreed with two plaintiffs saying that the maps were created in an unconstitutional manner but said that there was a lack of time to redraw them and that there were no motions from Republican or Democratic leaders calling for them to be redrafted.
The lawsuit was filed by Gary Greenberg, an Albany-based activist, and Gavin Wax, the leader of the New York Young Republican Club.
The decision comes about a month after McAllister ruled that the state senate and congressional maps needed to be redone, saying that they were drawn unconstitutionally by state Democrats in the legislature. The Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, agreed with his ruling.
The Assembly districts, however, also underwent significant change but they were not challenged by Republican leaders. In fact, both the Republicans and Democrats in the Assembly opposed the plaintiffs’ lawsuit.
The battle for control of the Assembly is not viewed as competitive, which is why the maps were not initially challenged. The chamber has been in the hands of the Democrats since 1975 and that is unlikely to change.
However, the control of the state senate is competitive. While the Democrats have had outright control since 2018, it has mostly been under Republican control since the 1940s.
The assembly districts in Queens, nevertheless, underwent significant change after the Democratic legislature redrew the maps.
For instance, Zohran Mamdani lost almost half his 36th Assembly District, with most of the Ditmars/Steinway moved to the 34th district. The 36th district now includes vast new areas—such as Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Astoria Houses as well as the Court Square/Queens Plaza section of Long Island City. These areas had been part to the 37th Assembly District.
The 30th Assembly District, currently represented by Brian Barnwell, also underwent significant change, with significant portions reassigned to neighboring districts. Barnwell has announced he is not seeking reelection.
The primaries for the state senate seats and congress are scheduled for Aug. 23.
A court-appointed special master is crafting new maps and has until May 20 to complete them. The candidates in these races are in limbo until the new lines are drawn.