New district lines taking shape
The pace of debate over congressional redistricting has picked up after plans for new districts from the majority republicans in the State Senate and democrats in the State Assembly were made public. YNN's Bill Carey said as the state moves to eliminate two congressional district, a Syracuse republican congresswoman could face a tough re-election test.
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WASHINGTON D.C. -- Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, 25th Congressional District said, “We're more focused on people, than party. And I think if more politicians did that, we probably would have a better state and a better country.”
But, in the end, party enrollments do make a difference. Ann Marie Buerkle will be trying to win a second term in what has become a swing district.
What helped Buerkle win her seat in Washington was a strong republican vote in Wayne County and a small portion of Monroe County. A plan drawn up by Senate republicans allows her to hang on to much of that vote. A democratic plan from the assembly does not. But both plans would also fold into the district Tompkins County, adding a substantial number of democratic voters.
Thomas Dadey said, “I'm a little concerned about how the district is starting to look and may shape up.”
The man chairing the Republican Party in the heart of Buerkle's district does have his worries. But Tom Dadey said the new plans do not rule out a second Buerkle term.
“I believe that Ann Marie will be re-elected. And I believe she will be re-elected, no matter what the district looks like. Because she has been accessible, she's very personable, she's likeable and she's right on the issues,” said Dadey.
But democrats, like the congressman Buerkle unseated two years ago, are arguing that it is the issues that will prevail, no matter what shape the district takes.
Dan Maffei, Congressional Candidate said, “Central New Yorkers have a lot more in common than what separates them from county to county or town to town. The positions of Ann Marie Buerkle are so out of step with all of Central New York, I'm quite confident whatever the lines are.”
The lines are far from being finalized. There are still alternate proposals to be reviewed. Further legislative negotiations. The threat of a gubernatorial veto. All of it could end up in the lap of a federal court judge.
And, for now, politicians like Buerkle, can only wait to see what happens.
Buerkle said, “You know, it is what it is. I love what I'm doing. We've done a great job on constituent service and, whatever the new district looks like, we'll get to know the people who live there. We'll let them know they're going to have a voice in Washington. And we'll just work hard to keep the district.”