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Final maps released for Congress, State Senate as candidates shuffle, reconsider

Published: May. 21, 2022 at 1:29 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A source tells 7 News businessman Matt Doheny is reconsidering a run for State Senate as finalized district maps were released early Saturday morning.

The new 49th Senate District now stretches farther east into Herkimer, Hamilton, and Fulton counties. It also includes all of Jefferson and Lewis counties, along with portions of Oswego and St. Lawrence.

Doheny was widely expected to run in a district that included all of Jefferson, Oswego, and Cayuga counties, along with part of Lewis County. 7 News is told he’s not yet made a final decision.

We’ve reached out to Doheny for comment. We’ll update this story if we hear back.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Mark Walczyk will continue his run in the new 49th.

He said in a press release Saturday, “My record in Albany speaks for itself. I’ve been a fighter against power-hungry Governors, I’ve called out misguided policy and pushed for common-sense initiatives to truly make New York a better place.”

“I humbly ask the residents of the new 49th Senate District for their support and by working together, as one, we will build a better tomorrow for New York,” Walczyk said.

The new lines for the House of Representatives and State Senate were drawn after New York’s highest appeals court tossed the ones inked by democrats. Those were ruled unconstitutional. A neutral “Special Master,” Dr. Jonathan Cervas, was tapped to draw nonpartisan district boundaries. Judge McAllister made some final alterations and released the maps this weekend.

The new 49th State Senate District
The new 49th State Senate District(WWNY)

On the congressional side, Rep. Elise Stefanik’s 21st district excludes Saratoga County, Watertown, and parts of Jefferson County, as it picks up more territory in the east. The Congresswoman’s district retains Fort Drum.

In a statement Saturday, Stefanik wrote, “While I’m deeply disappointed that I will no longer be serving as the Congressional Representative for Saratoga County, and parts of Jefferson County, I look forward to continuing to earn support from voters to represent the hardworking families, small businesses, farmers, veterans, and seniors in Montgomery, Rensselaer, Schoharie, and Otsego Counties and to continue delivering real results to Upstate New York.”

“I will always be the strongest voice for the North Country and Fort Drum’s service members and families as Fort Drum is the lifeblood of our entire North Country economy and culture,” Stefanik said.

One of Stefanik’s challengers, Democrat Matt Castelli also recommitted himself to the race, saying in a statement, “Our district has become more competitive for the right kind of Democrat, one who can unify a broad coalition of support across the now 15 counties that make up NY-21 and deliver on solutions that improve our daily lives. People across the country are becoming more and more aware of what the people of upstate New York have known for years: Elise Stefanik is an extremist who threatens the security of our country and communities. For the people of upstate New York ready for a real leader and a true public servant, I look forward to working together to deliver this crucial win in November.”

It’ll be a candidate shuffle in the newly drawn 24th congressional district. The Buffalo News reports that Congressman Chris Jacobs will now run in a district that includes the Southern Tier. Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, a Republican who currently represents the 22nd district announced she’ll be running in the 24th, which includes Watertown and part of Jefferson County.

The forced redrawing of State Senate and congressional maps means voters will head to the polls twice for primaries- on August 23rd for State Senate and Congress and on June 28th for all other races.

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