New maps change District 3, some say for the better


Jonathan Cervas , the court-appointed special master, released new redistricting maps on Monday, which are being touted as a victory for Republicans, who had complained that the initial maps drawn by the Democratic State Legislature were unfair and unconstitutional.

Republican candidate for New York's Third Congressional District George Santos said he is grateful for the new maps. "Based on these maps, I am even more confident in a fair fight that will end in victory this November," he said. "Taxpayers want change." 

With the new maps, which should be adopted on Friday, some elected Democratic leaders are now in the same district, but not so in Congressional District 3. But the lines have been dramatically redrawn [See box], with the elimination of Suffolk County, the Bronx and Westchester from the original maps. Additionally, there is only a sliver of Queens included in the new maps and South Shore areas, including Massapequa and Mineola, Republican strongholds.
“The state Senate maps are a mess with incumbents going against each other,” James Scheuerman, Nassau County’s Democratic election commissioner, said. “There is an opportunity for people to weigh in before the Friday deadline. I believe they would have to submit it in writing to [Steuben County Supreme Court] Judge [Patrick] McAllister.” 

The current new maps could cause at least one candidate to reconsider her run. None of Sen. Alessandra Biaggi’s Bronx district is included in the new maps. Prior to its release, the Democrat, unknown to most in the North Shore, opened a campaign office in Sea Cliff. Biaggi could not be reached for comment.

There are 10 candidates running for U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi’s seat. Some were quick to confirm that they would continue their bid for a seat on the House of Representatives.

"Regardless of the map, the issues that brought me into this race remain of vital importance to our communities,” Robert Zimmerman, of Great Neck, said. “If the map proposed today is adopted, I plan to run in New York's 3rd District. We will win a Democratic primary and deliver a victory in November for the people of Nassau and Queens."

Nassau Legislator Josh Lafazan, of Woodbury, said he would continue his campaign as well, although with the new maps he now lives in District 2, where much of his support has been. But unlike Biaggi, he is known, now a legislator in his second term.

“Josh Lafazan is a common sense Democrat who spends every day talking to Long Islanders about affordable and accessible health care, lower taxes and common sense gun laws and that is what he will continue to do in his campaign for New York’s Third Congressional District,” Chase Serota, Lafazan’s  campaign manager said.

Jon Kaiman, of Great Neck, said he sees the new map as an advantage. All of the Town of North Hempstead is included in it, where he was elected five times as supervisor serving more than 10 years.

“And most of the district is contained in Nassau County now,” he added. “There are additional areas included from the South Shore where I did my work on New York Rising.”

Melanie D'Arrigo, who lost to Suozzi in the 2020 primary, is continuing her campaign too. Having grown up on the South Shore and raising her family in Queens, she now lives in Nassau County. “The new NY-03 Congressional boundaries reflect the community I've spent years organizing in before I ever considered a run for Congress,” D'Arrigo said, “and I am proud to keep that fight up as we head towards the August 23, 2022 primary.”

Much can happen between now and Aug. 23. But one thing is certain. If the new maps are confirmed on Friday, it may make for more competitive races.