DEMS DON'T HAVE A CANDIDATE TO REPLACE DELGADO VS MOLINARO
(Editor's Note: This story was updated at 10:45 pm)
Sullivan County will remain whole and in Congressional District 19 under a new redistricting map designed by Special Master Jonathan Cervas and that now runs as far west as Ithaca.
The new 19th Congressional District map as drawn by a Special Master following a heated court battle in which Republicans prevailed.
Cervas is expected to finalize the revised Congressional boundaries by this Friday under a deadline ordered by State Supreme Court Justice Patrick F. McAllister of Steuben County. It's the same deadline for a separate set of boundaries for State Senate districts.
Redistricting on its own can cause chaos in political races. But adding to the drama is the fact that current Congressman Antonio Delgado was appointed as Lt. Governor by Governor Kathy Hochul less than two weeks ago.
Delgado will reportedly be "installed" temporarily as the Democrat's 19th District candidate in coming days before a special election for that seat can be held.
One of the possible dates of that special election is August 23. But Hochul has not announced a date for that Congressional special election and she reportedly can't until Delgado officially vacates his House seat. As of Monday evening, Delgado has not made any public statements about when he might step down.
Delgado's own Democratic primary for Lt. Governor is set for June 28.
Until Monday, it was expected that Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan would replace Delgado on the ballot, which had the blessing of Delgado. But in a tweet on Monday, Ryan announced his entrance - instead- into the campaign for the 18th Congressional District, part of his home county.
At press time, there is no word on which Democrat throughout the revamped 19th District might get into the race for the House to face Republican Mark Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive. (And, in another twist caused by the new maps, Molinaro will run in a district that, as of now, does not include Dutchess County).
In February, Democratic leaders in Albany redrew the maps that removed Sullivan from CD 19 and inserted it with a redrawn CD 17, that included parts of Orange and Westchester Counties and all of Rockland County. At the time, it was thought that Mondaire Jones, the Democrat incumbent, would be Sullivan's new representative if that map was approved.
But the judge in Steuben County rejected the Democrat's maps and ordered that a Special Master redraw them, following a high profile lawsuit led by John Faso, the Republican who represented Sullivan in CD 19 for one term before losing to Delgado in 2020.
Faso said in a statement to another media outlet Tuesday that the new maps by Cervas are "certainly better" than the previous lines.
"However, we will be making suggestions to the Court and Special Master for revisions which better reflect long-standing communities of interest around the state," he said. "We believe these proposed revisions, which we will make by Wednesday, will build on and improve the plan put forth today."