Early voting begins Saturday for the second of two state primaries | Local News

ALBANY — New York’s political calendar this summer is hit or miss, even though it didn’t start out that way.

In what should be confusing for at least some voters, the second of two primary elections will take place on August 23. Early voting for the case — involving disputed races in Congress and the state Senate — begins Saturday.

A June 28 primary for governor made Gov. Kathy Hochul and R-Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin the winners. They will each face off in the November 8 general election.

New York was left with two separate primary elections after the state’s highest court in April rejected the state’s Senate and congressional district lines that had been endorsed by the Hochul and Democratic lawmakers. The court found that the new lines gave Democrats an unfair advantage due to district gerrymandering. A special master was then assigned to craft lines that were not based on partisan considerations.

Following the new congressional lines, resulting in eight competitive districts for House seats, New York has become one of the states to watch nationally as the election season progresses.

“New York has more competitive congressional districts than any other state in the country because we now have much fairer lines in Congress, instead of the lines with which the Democrats tried to gerrymander the state,” said John Faso, a former Republican congressman from Columbia County. . Faso was one of the lawyers who made the legal arguments that led the Court of Appeals to declare the lines endorsed by the Democrats unconstitutional.

While Democrats are expected to retain a majority of seats in the state House, New York’s delegation may not be as blue as it is now, with polls suggesting GOP candidates have a chance to win some of the districts won by the Democrats in 2020.

To regain a majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans, nationwide, would need a net pickup of five seats. In midterm elections, it’s not uncommon for the party occupying the White House to feel the heat of the electorate. Should Republicans take control of the House, it would leave President Joe Biden and his program in a difficult position for the remaining two years of his current term.

Another attention-grabbing battleground is suburban Long Island, where three congressional seats will go unappointed. One is held by Zeldin. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat who lost to Hochul in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, is stepping down from Congress. Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, is also retiring. These measures ensure that there will be new faces in the state’s congressional delegation in January, noted Harvey Schantz, professor of political science at SUNY Plattsburgh.

There are several other primaries that sparked intrigue, including the battle between Nick Langworthy, the state’s GOP chairman, and Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman who unsuccessfully ran for office. for governor in 2010, seeking to be the Republican nominee for a congressional seat from Western New York. , Schantz said.

In November’s general election, the party that wins 218 House seats will have the majority and determine who will be Speaker of the House, the professor said. The New York delegation to Washington has had a majority of Democrats since 1964.

The state delegation now has 27 members — 18 Democrats and seven Republicans, with two vacancies. Due to low population growth, New York will lose a House seat in January.

Heading into the fall, “Joe Biden’s low approval rating of around 40% suggests Republicans will win a substantial margin and House seats across the country,” Schantz said.

In Albany, Democrats now hold lopsided majorities in the Senate and Assembly.

But Faso said with inflation, taxes and crime high on voters’ minds, along with fairer district lines carved by the special master, Republicans are likely to take some now-filled Statehouse seats. by Democrats.

“The Democrats don’t have a real counterbalance because their policies made inflation worse, they made crime worse, and they made recovery from the pandemic worse,” Faso said.

Hochul and the state Democratic Party hammered Zeldin for voting against certification of voting results in Pennsylvania and Arizona. These were among the states whose 2020 results were unsuccessfully challenged by the Trump campaign.

“While promoting the Big Lie and carrying water for Donald Trump, I fight for New Yorkers,” Hochul tweeted Thursday.

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