By Melissa Holzberg DePalo, CNN
New York Judge Patrick McAllister approved the court-appointed special master’s new congressional map for the state late Friday night.
The map, which makes a few changes to the special master’s earlier draft, would still create 15 US House districts that favor Democrats and around half a dozen competitive seats. Under a blocked map the legislature drew earlier this year, Democrats had hoped to have an easier to path to about 22 House seats from New York.
The Empire State will now have at least one incumbent-versus-incumbent House primary as longtime Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney will both run for the new 12th Congressional District in Manhattan.
However, some other member-vs.-member primaries seem to have been avoided as Rep. Mondaire Jones, who currently represents a suburban seat north of New York City, announced he would run in the new 10th District — a seat that merges parts of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn — leaving Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney without an incumbent primary challenger in the new 17th District. The open 10th District has attracted a wave of interest from local politicians, including from former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who announced a run on Friday, and state Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, who entered the race a day later.
McAllister defended the special master’s draft and final proposals, writing in the court order that “unfortunately some people have encouraged the public to believe that now the court gets to create its own gerrymandered maps that favor Republicans.”
He said that with the state’s 2012-drawn lines, eight Republicans were elected to Congress and the initial Democratic-drawn map for this round of redistricting “would have only favored four Republicans being elected.”
The judge said the new map would create “eight competitive districts” and “three districts in which Republicans will likely win.”
One key change to the draft map took place in Brooklyn, where the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights communities, which had each been split in the previous version, were placed whole back into their respective districts. The change eliminates concerns among Democrats that Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Yvette Clarke, both of whom are Black, would be forced to run for the same seat.
“The restoration of the iconic neighborhood of Bedford Stuyvesant into one Congressional District is a small step,” Jeffries said in a statement Saturday, before adding, “We will not let modest changes to a severely flawed draft map whitewash the violence done to communities of color throughout New York City.”
The special master’s final map also included changes on Long Island. Republicans will likely continue to have a stronghold in the 2nd District, represented by GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino.
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis’ Staten Island-based seat, which Democrats had tried to redraw to favor them, will remain Republican-leaning and not include more liberal parts of Brooklyn.
New York will have 26 congressional districts after losing a seat in reapportionment following the 2020 census. The Democratic-drawn map was blocked by the state’s highest court in April.
New Hampshire is currently the only state without an updated congressional map for 2022, however Florida’s map is in flux in the courts.
This story has been updated with additional developments.
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CNN’s Gregory Krieg contributed to this report.