Jackie Gordon launches her campaign for the 2nd Congressional District...

Jackie Gordon launches her campaign for the 2nd Congressional District seat on Oct. 26, 2021, in Lindenhurst. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Redistricting really came home for two prominent congressional hopefuls on Long Island who will likely end up living in different districts than the ones where they were expecting to run.

Jackie Gordon was the Democratic nominee for 2nd Congressional District in 2020, but her Copiague home now appears headed just over the edge into CD1, according to proposed maps soon to be voted on by the Democrat-controlled State Legislature as part of the post-Census reshuffling.

And Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley of Blue Point was one of the leading names to assume the GOP mantle in gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin’s CD1. But the new lines would put him right in the center of CD2, home to sophomore GOP Rep. Andrew Garbarino.

For Foley, the shift is particularly stark — horizontally, he’d have to drive some 40 minutes practically to Hampton Bays to get to the southeastern edge where the new CD2 hits the new CD1. For what it’s worth, he’s not the only Republican with a CD1-to-CD2 surprise: Zeldin himself would fall into the new CD2, although he’s now running full-steam for governor and not his current congressional seat.

The residency requirements for members of the House of Representatives are in the U.S. Constitution: They only need be residents of the state when elected. But it’s not a politically easy move to be a carpetbagger, nor — on Long Island — to quickly sell one’s home and shift to a new area.

The lines are not finalized until voted on in Albany, but as currently drawn they would likely spur a new plan from both hopefuls.

CD1 will likely become a big Democratic pickup opportunity, and Gordon could throw herself into that primary (more on that below). CD2, on the other hand, would become Long Island’s GOP heartland.

Outwardly, neither party is exactly giving up on either district. Suffolk GOP chair Jesse Garcia tells The Point that the party has multiple contenders for CD1 and will have an announced candidate supported by the party by mid-February. He contends a win is possible there given, in part, "the political atmosphere."

As for CD2, the Democrats have certainly made long-shot efforts against entrenched Republicans on Long Island before. But as one CD2 Democrat told The Point, "I don’t know anyone interested in a suicide mission."


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