ALBANY — Incumbent state Sen. Neil Breslin (D-Delmar) will be doing a bit more traveling westbound on the state Thruway if re-elected in November.
In Breslin’s current district, the longest trip from his state Capitol office to the edge of the district is about 15 miles, but that will now stretch to 65 miles and take over an hour. He said is ready for the challenge posed by a reconstructed 46th state Senate District 46 this fall as he chases his 14th term.
“I am really excited to get out there,” Breslin said. “I am looking forward to a trip to Canajoharie, but it is a longer ride than I am used to. At least I still live in my district.”
That is not the case with other local state senators. Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) and Daphne Jordan (R- Halfmoon) will both vie for the new District 44 after the new lines put Jordan and many of her existing voters outside the new District 43 t. Tedisco’s residence is now in the same district as Breslin, but announced he was seeking to primary Jordan.
Breslin’s old district included the cities of Albany, Cohoes, Troy and Rensselaer and the Town of Colonie. Under the new plan due to the court on Friday, he would lose all of those except the City of Albany. He also picks up most of Schenectady County and all of Montgomery County. However, the new district does not include the City of Schenectady and the Town of Niskayuna.
“When you do not have the knowledge of the subdivisions, neighborhoods and districts like I do in this district, it makes it hard,” he said, but added “I can’t wait to meet people there.”
The districts changed dramatically over the past month as The Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, threw out the lines drawn by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this year because they were unduly partisan and favored Democrats.
The lines are redrawn every 10 years to reflect demographic shifts based on U.S. Census data and usually by some type of bipartisan commission. In this cycle, that did not happen and the Court of Appeals appointed Jonathan Cervas, a political scientist at Carnegie Mellon to redraw the lines by Friday, May 19.
The change in lines also forced the postponement of the primary elections for state Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, moving them from June to August.
Breslin, who turns 80 in June, was first elected to the state Senate in 1996 and is the chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee as well as the co-chair of the Ethics Committee. It is unclear if anyone will challenge him in November since Tedisco is changing districts.
According to the new district maps, the district still leans in favor of Democrats by 7.35 percent based on the way voters pulled the levers for President in 2016 and 2020, but less than the 31 percent advantage he enjoys in his current district.