New York lawmakers approved a new congressional map, giving Democrats a slight boost as they seek to regain the U.S. House majority from Republicans this year.

New York lawmakers approved a new congressional map on Wednesday after blocking district lines drawn by the state’s bipartisan redistricting committee earlier this week, giving Democrats a slight boost as they seek to regain the U.S. House majority this year.

The map, which now goes to Gov. Kathy Hochul for her signature, shores up a handful of Democratic seats and aids several incumbents, but does not attempt to drive up the party’s seat count the way Democrats tried to do in 2022 before the courts stepped in.

While Democrats currently hold 16 of New York’s 26 districts, they’re likely to see 17 safe Democratic seats and three competitive districts under the new map, according to prominent redistricting expert Dave Wasserman, a senior editor and analyst at the Cook Political Report.

“I call this a mild gerrymander. Any map that makes deliberate choices to benefit a party is a gerrymander on some level, but this is not an aggressive or maximal gerrymander by any means,” Wasserman said.

New York is expected to be at the center of the fight for House control this fall as Republicans attempt to maintain their razor-thin majority.

The new map shores up New York’s 3rd district on Long Island, preserving the preserving the $14 million investment Democrats made in electing Rep. Tom Suozzi earlier this month in a district President Joe Biden won by 2 points. His reelection bid will be easier in the new district, which Biden would have won by 11 points, Wasserman predicted.

New York’s 18th district will become slightly safer for Democratic Rep. Pat Ryan, while Republican Rep. Brandon Williams’ reelection campaign in the new, more Democratic 22nd district will be tougher. New York’s 1st district becomes more Republican, boosting the incumbent Rep. Nick LaLota.

The districts represented by GOP Reps. Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler and Marcus Molinaro will remain competitive.

There are a handful of shifts that appear designed to help incumbents, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries whose Brooklyn condo had been drawn out of his district in 2022 by a couple blocks. Rep. Paul Tonko’s Amsterdam, New York, home was added to the 20th District, which he has represented for many years. Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s South Bronx district gains Co-Op City, a predominantly Black housing development, after protesting that the court drawn map had split communities of color in his district.

“It’s a clear pattern of satisfying incumbents,” said Wasserman.

It’s unclear if Republicans will challenge the mag, which could run afoul of New York’s constitutional prohibitions on gerrymandering.

State lawmakers also passed a bill to shape future legal challengeo, requiring any future redistricting challenges to be brought in New York County, Westchester County, Albany County, or Erie County. All four counties have more registered Democrats than registered Republicans.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, a Democrat, said in a floor debate that those four counties would be able to develop legal expertise to best handle these challenges and argued it would prevent forum shopping.

Republicans slammed the bill on Wednesday, arguing it was designed to help Democrats in future redistricting challenges.

“It’s doing the shopping under the guise of trying to avoid forum shopping. let’s call it what it is,” said Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh, who said the benches in the four counties were “predominantly Democrat” and the bill aimed to “create a desired outcome” for Democrats.

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