If redistricting maps released by a federal judge stand, Hudson Valley residents should expect some different names and numbers on their ballot come November. Our John Wagner has more.
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- When Democrat Maurice Hinchey leaves Congress at the end of his 20 year run, he will leave big shoes to fill, but his current district may retire along with the congressman.
If the New York Assembly and Senate can't come to an agreement, a federal judge's redistricting would end up on ballots, moving the district into the Hudson Valley centric 19th District.
"As a regionalist I'm very pleased with that because these are likely to produce Hudson Valley leaders who are going to advance Hudson Valley interests," said Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz Political Science Professor.
"His district really wasn't a Hudson Valley district, it stretched all the way to the Southern Tier and Binghamton, it was much more a Southern Tier district than it was an Ulster County district," said Joshua Simons, from the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach.
Ulster and Sullivan county residents would move into a district that crosses up through Rensselaer and is now represented by freshman Republican Chris Gibson who lives in Columbia County. Quite a change from the very progressive Hinchey.
"The person that looks like he's going to be taking his place is just the opposite, extremely conservative in fact somewhat reactionary is the way I kind of look at it," said David Donaldson, (D) Ulster County Minority Leader.
While Nan Hayworth's 18th district would stay largely in tact, Chris Gibson has his work cut out for him with representing a whole new, more liberal, territory and trying to retain his seat.
"I wouldn't see any change in how you're represented because it's a constant fight and a constant struggle and there's always somebody ready to take your place," said Robert Aiello, (R) Ulster County Legislator.
"There's going to be a lot of introductions, "Hi, I'm a congressman, but I wasn't your congressman, but I'd like to be your congressman" type of stuff. I think the advantages of incumbency are going to be lessened, not eliminated certainly," said Simons.
Ulster County legislators will now look to an unknown for federal support and they hope that next lawmaker keeps the resolve of their former.
"Hinchey was always very tenacious at getting what he wanted to get accomplished," said Donaldson.
"If whoever wins does not follow through to the wills of the people, you have the power to remove him," said Aiello.