Ten years ago, the Legislature passed an amendment to create an independent redistricting commission to take partisan gerrymandering out of the process, and the voters ratified it in 2014.
This year, on its maiden voyage, the commission struck an iceberg and sank like the Titanic.
In order to ensure district lines were updated in time for June primaries, the Democrat-controlled Legislature completed the process.
Ultimately, the state’s highest court struck down the new lines for state Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, holding that they were illegally drawn.
So now an independent “special master” has redrawn New York’s state Senate and congressional districts. To give candidates enough time to figure out where they might run and circulate petitions, if necessary, primaries for those offices have been pushed back to Aug. 23.
There are dozens of contested congressional and state Senate primaries, the results of which will not be decided until weeks after NYSUT’s endorsement conference that was scheduled for early August, said President Andy Pallotta.
“As such, NYSUT has moved its planned endorsement conference in Albany to regional meetings over the summer months,” he said. “This change will allow for increased member participation locally.”
Primaries for the governor’s office, one U.S. Senate seat and the state Assembly will be on the original date of June 28, with early voting from June 18–26. Check with your county boards of election for locations and times.
NYSUT has endorsed Kathy Hochul for governor and Antonio Delgado for lieutenant governor and has recommended Sen. Chuck Schumer for endorsement by its national affiliates. NYSUT members can contact their local leadership or log in to nysut.org to find primary endorsements for Assembly seats.