A federal magistrate’s recent re-drawing of state congressional lines leaves Congressmember Bob Turner as the odd man out.
Magistrate Roanne Mann’s revised maps released on March 6 would eliminate Turner’s Brooklyn-Queens district and may reportedly force him to run for the same seat belonging to Congressmember Gregory Meeks in a Democratic and heavily African-American area.
According to published reports, State Senate GOP officials fought to protect Turner while Assembly Democrats pushed for his district to be eliminated.
“The redistricting plan introduced today by the Special Master is just another step in the process,” said Turner, who won a Special Election last year to fill the seat of disgraced Congressmember Anthony Weiner. “I am prepared to run in whatever district I reside in once the final lines are adopted.”
Mann was appointed by a panel of three federal judges to create a redistricting plan eliminating two of the state’s 29 congressional seats after legislative leaders were unable to come to an agreement. The elimination of the seats was reportedly mandatory due to national population shifts over the past decade.
The magistrate’s proposed map is not final however, as her draft is expected to boost talks between state legislative leaders who are now aware of the court’s direction.
If the legislators are unable to pass their own plan by March 12, Mann’s map will become final, due to the need for congressional candidates to choose what district they will run in before they begin circulating nominating petitions on March 20.
Congressmember Gary Ackerman has already come forward and announced he plans to run for re-election in the new Sixth Congressional District should the magistrate’s lines become final.
“The new Sixth Congressional District is a fantastic district in Queens where I grew up, went to public school and college, and started my family and my business,” Ackerman said. “It contains my political base and longtime roots, and I have had the privilege of representing approximately 90 percent of it during my 34 years in the State Senate and U.S. Congress.”
Assemblymember Rory Lancman, who represents the 25th Assembly District, has also stated he “looks forward to run for Congress when the lines are finalized.”