Here’s a summary of recent redistricting timeline updates from New York, North Dakota, and South Carolina.
New York: The New York Independent Redistricting Commission announced a second round of public hearings on map proposals to be held between Oct. 20 and Nov. 23, 2021. The first deadline for the commission to submit map proposals to the legislature for approval is Jan. 1, 2022, and the second deadline is Jan. 15, 2022.
North Dakota: The North Dakota Legislative Redistricting Committee continues to hold meetings, including a meeting for public input on the partial proposed redistricting maps on September 22. Additional meetings are scheduled for September 28 and 29 at the State Capitol Building in Bismarck.
South Carolina: House Majority Leader Gary Simrill (R) announced on September 22 that the South Carolina House will return in December to approve new district maps. The House Redistricting Ad Hoc Committee continues to hold public meetings through October 4, 2021.
Two new state legislative special elections have been added to our list. The special elections are for the District 30 seat in the New York State Senate and the District 86 seat in the New York State Assembly on Nov. 2, 2021. There is no primary, and the filing deadline is on Sept. 27.
Brian Benjamin (D) was sworn in as New York’s lieutenant governor on Sep. 9. Governor Kathy Hochul (D) had appointed Benjamin to the position on Aug. 25, after Hochul became governor in the wake of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) resignation.
The Lieutenant Governor of New York is the second-ranking officer of the executive branch and the first officer in line to succeed the governor. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and has no term limit.
Previously, Benjamin had served in the New York State Senate since 2017, representing District 30. So far in 2021, there have been 98 vacancies in 39 state legislatures.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) resigned on Aug. 24, effective at 12:00 a.m. Eastern. He first announced his plans to step down on Aug. 10.
Immediately after Cuomo’s resignation took effect, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul (D) was sworn in as the 57th governor of New York. Hochul is the first female to serve as governor in the state. She will serve the remainder of Cuomo’s term, which ends on Jan. 1, 2023. New York’s next gubernatorial election will take place in November 2022.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released a report on Aug. 3 that said Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees. James began the investigation in February.
The New York State Assembly had initiated impeachment proceedings against Cuomo in March, examining the allegations of sexual misconduct among other accusations of impeachable conduct.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied these allegations. On August 23, in his final public address as governor, he said, “The attorney general’s report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic and it worked. There was a political and media stampede, but the truth will out in time.”
Lt. Gov. Cuomo was first elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He was New York’s attorney general from 2007 to 2010. Cuomo also served in President Bill Clinton’s (D) cabinet as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001.
Cuomo is the ninth governor of New York to resign. Six resigned to take another office, and three resigned following allegations of misconduct. New York’s last elected governor, Eliot Spitzer (D), resigned in 2008 amid allegations of misconduct. Spitzer’s lieutenant governor, David Paterson (D), served through 2010. Twelve governors of New Jersey have resigned, more than any other state.
Since 1776, 218 state governors have resigned before the expiration of their term. Of those, 76% took place because the governor was elected or appointed to another office, 7% took place following allegations of misconduct, and 17% were for various personal reasons, such as illness or policy disputes with the state legislature.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Aug. 10 that he would resign, effective Aug. 24. Lt. Gov. Cuomo was first elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He was New York’s attorney general from 2007 to 2010. Cuomo also served in President Bill Clinton’s (D) cabinet as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1997 to 2001.
Kathy Hochul (D) will serve the remainder of Cuomo’s term, which ends on Jan. 1, 2023. New York’s next gubernatorial election will take place in November 2022.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released a report on Aug. 3 that said Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.” James began the investigation in February.
The New York State Assembly had initiated impeachment proceedings against Cuomo in March, examining the allegations of sexual misconduct among other accusations of impeachable conduct. At the time of Cuomo’s announcement, the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee had planned to finish its impeachment inquiry by Aug. 13, allowing for a vote on impeachment later this month or in September. Had Cuomo been impeached, the next step would have been a trial before the state Senate.
Cuomo denied these allegations, saying, in part, “To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable.” At a press conference announcing his resignation, Cuomo said, “Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing. And therefore that’s what I’ll do.”
Hochul was elected lieutenant governor in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. Before that, she served in the U.S. House from 2011 to 2012 after winning a special election. Hochul will be the first woman governor in the state’s history.
Since 1776, 218 state governors have resigned before the expiration of their term. Cuomo is the ninth governor of New York to resign. Six resigned to take another office, and three resigned following allegations of misconduct. New York’s last elected governor, Eliot Spitzer (D), resigned in 2008 amid allegations of misconduct. Spitzer’s lieutenant governor, David Paterson (D), served through 2010. Twelve governors of New Jersey have resigned, more than any other state.
Of the 219 gubernatorial resignations nationwide since 1776, 76% took place because the governor was elected or appointed to another office, 7% took place following allegations of misconduct, and 17% were for various personal reasons, such as illness or policy disputes with the state legislature. Andrew Johnson (D) resigned as Governor of Tennessee on two separate occasions.
On Aug. 3, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released the findings of an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
The report found that Cuomo sexually harassed at least eleven women, breaking state and federal laws in doing so. The report’s executive summary stated that Cuomo “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
Cuomo responded to the report’s release, stating: “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.”
On Aug. 5, the New York State Assembly announced that it was close to completing an impeachment investigation of Cuomo, which it began in March. The Assembly Judiciary Committee asked Cuomo to provide any materials he would like to submit as part of the investigation by the end of the week.
James’ office began the inquiry in February 2021 after multiple women came forward over several months accusing the governor of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.
Also in February, the F.B.I. and U.S. Attorney’s office began an investigation of the actions of a task force Cuomo led in relation to the handling of nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This investigation followed James releasing a report stating that many nursing home residents died from COVID-19 in hospitals after they were transferred from nursing homes and that these deaths were not reflected in the Department of Health’s count of nursing home deaths. The report stated that nursing home resident deaths appeared to be undercounted by about 50%.
Cuomo said about the timing of the release of nursing home fatality data, “More than anything it was just a capacity issue. … Remember, at the same time we’re managing the pandemic; that’s what everyone was doing, and these things take time and the No. 1 priority was saving peoples’ lives.”
Throughout these events, multiple prominent Democrats have called for Cuomo’s resignation. They include President Joe Biden (D), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Govs. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), Tom Wolf (D-Pa.), Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Dan McKee (D-R.I.), state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D), and state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D).
In New York, a simple majority vote by the New York State Assembly is required to impeach a sitting governor. If that occurs, the case would go before a High Court of Impeachment made up of all sitting state senators except the majority leader, a well as the members of the court of appeals. Two-thirds of the 69-person court, or 46 members, would have to vote to impeach the governor.
In New York, if the governor resigns, the lieutenant governor fills the position until the remainder of the term. New York’s lieutenant governor is Kathy Hochul (D). Cuomo’s current term runs through 2023.
New York has removed one governor from office in the state’s history. Governor William Sulzer was impeached in 1913 after 10 months in office.
In this week’s Redistricting Review, we cover news out of Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Michigan: On July 9, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission’s request to extend the constitutional deadlines for adopting new redistricting plans. The constitutional deadlines – presentation to the public by Sept. 17 and adoption by Nov. 1 – remain in effect.
In light of the delayed delivery of detailed redistricting data by the U.S. Census Bureau, the commission argued that it would “not be able to comply with the constitutionally imposed timeline.” Instead, the commission asked the state supreme court to direct the commission to propose plans within 72 days of the receipt of redistricting data and to approve plans within 45 days thereafter.
The state supreme court asked the Office of the Attorney General to assemble two separate teams to make arguments, one team in support of the commission’s request and another opposed. The court heard oral arguments on June 21. Deputy Solicitor General Ann Sherman, speaking in support of the proposed deadline extensions, said “The very maps themselves could be challenged if they are drawn after the November 1 deadline.” Assistant Attorney General Kyla Barranco, speaking in opposition, said, “There isn’t harm in telling the commission at this point, ‘Try your best with the data that you might be able to use and come September 17, maybe we’ll have a different case.'”
In its unsigned July 9 order, the court said that it was “not persuaded that it should grant the requested relief.” Justice Elizabeth Welch wrote a concurrence, in which she said, “The Court’s decision is not a reflection on the merits of the questions briefed or how this Court might resolve a future case raising similar issues. It is indicative only that a majority of this Court believes that the anticipatory relief sought is unwarranted.”
In response to the court’s order, Edward Woods III, the commission’s communications and outreach director, said that the commission would follow its draft timeline, under which the public input period opens on Aug. 30 and closes on Sept. 30 – past the Sept. 17 constitutional deadline. This suggests that further litigation on the matter might occur.
New York: On July 12, the New York Independent Redistricting Commission (NYIRC) announced that public hearings will begin on July 20. A full list of hearing dates can be accessed here. NYIRC also said it would release its first redistricting proposal on Sept. 15.
Pennsylvania: On July 12, redistricting authorities in Pennsylvania launched a redistricting website and announced a schedule for public hearings on congressional redistricting, the first of which will take place on July 22. A full list of hearing dates can be accessed here.
Voters in New York City may be waiting at least a couple weeks to find out who the Democratic nominee for city comptroller is—along with nominees for other offices on the ballot, including mayor and city council.
The city Board of Elections is scheduled to begin running ranked-choice voting tabulations on June 29—the day it must receive absentee ballots by—for votes cast in person and will include votes cast by mail in the tabulations starting July 6, according to the Associated Press. Voters have until July 9 to resolve any issues that may be present with their absentee ballots, NY1 reported.
City Councilman Brad Lander had received 31% of the votes the board had counted and reported as of June 23. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson received 23%. Former CNBC financial analyst Michelle Caruso-Cabrera was third, based on these incomplete results, with 14%. State Sen. Brian Benjamin was fourth with 8%.
Lander ran as a progressive, emphasizing endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with The New York Times editorial board. Johnson said he’d balanced three city budgets as council speaker. Several unions in the city endorsed him. Caruso-Cabrera described herself as a Latina political outsider with the financial experience for the job. She ran against Ocasio-Cortez in the 2020 Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District. Benjamin highlighted his experience working for a housing developer and in financial management before joining the state legislature. Two former city comptrollers endorsed him.
With ranked-choice voting, the lowest-performing candidate of the 10 who ran will be eliminated from the running once all votes are in, and his or her votes will be redistributed to those voters’ second-choice candidates, if they selected second choices. That process will continue until one candidate reaches more than 50%. Voters were allowed to rank up to five candidates in the June 22 primaries.
Primaries for the mayor and comptroller of New York City will be held on Tuesday, June 22. The winners will advance to the general election on November 2, 2021.
Thirteen Democrats and two Republicans are running in the primaries for mayor of New York City. Incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is not running for re-election due to term limits.
The primary election will feature the first use of ranked-choice voting (RCV) for a mayoral primary in the city’s history. Voters will be able to rank up to five candidates on their ballot in order of preference.
The following six Democratic candidates have received the most media attention and noteworthy endorsements:
• Eric Adams, Brooklyn borough president
• Kathryn Garcia, former New York City sanitation commissioner
• Raymond McGuire, former Wall Street executive
• Scott Stringer, New York City comptroller
• Maya Wiley, former mayoral counsel
• Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
The top issues in this race are crime, policing, affordable housing, jobs, and healthcare.
New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers founder Fernando Mateo and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa are running in the Republican primary.
De Blasio was first elected in 2013 and won re-election in 2017 with 66% of the vote. Including de Blasio, four of the previous six mayors were Democrats.
The Democratic primary for New York City comptroller is also being held on June 22. Ten candidates are running for the office, whose duties include performing audits of city agencies and managing five public pension funds. As of March 2021, the funds totaled $253 billion in assets.
The following seven candidates are leading in endorsements and fundraising:
• Brian Benjamin, state senator
• Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, former CNBC financial analyst
• Zachary Iscol, former Marine and nonprofit founder
• Corey Johnson, New York City Council speaker
• Brad Lander, New York City Council member
• Kevin Parker, state senator
• David Weprin, state assemblyman
The Republican primary was canceled, and Daby Carreras advanced as the Republican nominee for New York City comptroller.
New York City holds primaries for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, five borough presidents, and 51 city council seats on June 22. As part of our in-depth coverage of the mayoral and comptroller elections, Ballotpedia has tracked Democratic primary endorsements from major local papers, members of Congress, and influential unions and groups.
Below, we highlight several endorsers’ picks in both the mayoral and comptroller primaries. We include endorsers from whom we found endorsements in both races. Endorsed mayoral candidates are listed first after the endorser, and endorsed comptroller candidates are listed second.
Ten of 23 endorsers listed below had unique endorsement pairings. Six backed Maya Wiley for mayor and Brad Lander for comptroller. Three endorsed Wiley for mayor and Corey Johnson for comptroller. Two endorsed Scott Stringer for mayor and Lander for comptroller. And two backed Stringer and Johnson.
New York Post: Eric Adams, Zach Iscol
The New York Times: Kathryn Garcia, Brad Lander
New York Daily News:Kathryn Garcia, David Weprin
Members of Congress
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.): Maya Wiley, Brad Lander
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.): Maya Wiley, Kevin Parker
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.): Eric Adams, Brian Benjamin
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.): Ray McGuire, David Weprin
Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.): Scott Stringer, Brad Lander
New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council: Eric Adams, Corey Johnson
New York State Nurses Association: Maya Wiley, Corey Johnson
United Federation of Teachers: Scott Stringer, Corey Johnson
New York Working Families Party: Maya Wiley, Brad Lander
New York League of Conservation Voters: Kathryn Garcia, Corey Johnson
Stonewall Democrats of NYC: Scott Stringer, Brad Lander
Tenants PAC: MayaWiley, Corey Johnson
New York Progressive Action Network: MayaWiley, Brad Lander
Note: Many state legislators, local officials, and other groups and unions have issued endorsements in the races and are not included above. See our race coverage for more endorsements as well as links to endorsement lists on candidates’ campaign websites.