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Common Cause NY's Susan Lerner (at right) has been talking up a new set of political boundaries for the Empire state (Photo:  Common Cause NY)
Common Cause NY's Susan Lerner (at right) has been talking up a new set of political boundaries for the Empire state (Photo: Common Cause NY)

Reform group wants big shake up for North Country political map

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An influential government reform group has drawn up new maps for political boundaries in New York state that would have dramatic impacts here in the North Country.

Common Cause of New York says its redistricting plan would be fairer and more logical than the maps drawn up in the past by politicians. Brian Mann reports.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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The maps drawn up by Common Cause would shake up the North Country’s political culture in big ways. It would force Senators Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie to slug it out for a new state Senate seat that would include much of the western side of the North Country. 

It would also consolidate the region into one big congressional district, nudging out slices of geography now held by Republicans Richard Hanna and Chris Gibson. 

Susan Lerner, the head of Common Cause, talked about the map this week on the public radio program Capital Pressroom.

"Residents of the North Country testified at two different hearings that they did not like the way in which their area is currently represented because the North Country is basically spread between three congressional districts.  Our map holds the North Country together," she said.

Common Cause’s maps would also bring big changes to Assembly districts, completely eliminating the so-called River district that snakes along the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.

It’s unlikely these maps will be adopted in exactly this form, but Common Cause’s efforts give a sense of just how big next year’s redistricting changes could be.

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