SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Rep. John Katko, (R – Camillus), has announced that he will not seek re-election this November and will retire from Congress. The announcement, coming is a year in which Congressional districts are being redrawn, will have an impact on Mohawk Valley representation in Congress.
Katko is a four term Republican from the Syracuse area. He was one of just ten Republicans in the House to vote in favor of the impeachment of Pres. Donald Trump. Katko said in his announcement that he wanted to enjoy his family more and that is why he is stepping down.
At the time of his announcement it was not clear what the Congressional district that he would look to represent would look like. Under the redistricting process an independent commission was tasked to come up with new maps for Congressional, Assembly and State Senate districts. The commission could not agree on the overall reconfiguration. The only Congressional District that was the same on both maps was a district that would have blended Katko’s NY-24th District with parts of the NY-22nd District, currently represented by Rep. Claudia Tenney, R – New Hartford. That could have set the stage for a primary between the two. There currently are two Republicans in the 24th District who had announced their intention to primary Katko.
The maps now go to the State Legislature where they must be approved by a two-thirds majority in both chambers. Should the maps fail to get the required margin to become valid, the Commission can submit new maps. The fall back in that case would be for the Democrat controlled Legislature to draw their own maps.
The tentative district layout for Congressional Districts, submitted by the Commission, would include the cities of Utica, Rome, Syracuse, Oneida, Auburn, Cortland and Ithaca. A ballpark estimate of the voter registration for this configuration would favor Democrats.
Tenney has announced her intent to run for re-election. The Democrats who had announced their intention to challenge her all live in the Southern Tier and would not be in her district if the current map is accepted by the State Legislature. Anthony Brindisi, the Utica democrat who defeated Tenney in 2018 and lost to her by 109 votes in 2020, has said that he will not run to regain his seat in the House.