New court-drawn Senate map reshapes 46th District election

— From the City University of New York
The thick blue line shows the boundaries of the new 46th Senate District, as drawn by a court-appointed special master.

ALBANY COUNTY — Change is coming for some residents of New York State’s 46th Senate District. 

A new court-drawn map has cleaved the district in half and left its incumbent, Michelle Hinchey, to seek re-election in a district that does not include Albany County. Instead, State Senator Neil Breslin, a Democrat who represents the current 44th District, will seek election to the new 46th District, which will include key portions of his old district, like the city of Albany.

Hinchey’s current 140-mile-long district, drawn over a decade ago in a Republican-dominated process, comprises all of Greene and Montgomery counties, as well as parts of Albany County, including all or parts of the towns of Guilderland, New Scotland, Coeymans, Berne, Knox, Rensselaerville, and Westerlo. 

The new 46th District contains most of Albany County, including the city of Albany and the towns mentioned above, most of Schenectady County, and all of Montgomery County. The southern portion of the current 46th District will be part of the new 41st District.

Hinchey announced this weekend that she will seek re-election to the 41st District, which includes her hometown of Saugerties.

Richard Amedure, of Rensselaerville, was set to challenge Hinchey in the 46th District as he had, on the Republican line, in 2020. He officially announced his campaign to represent the 46th District in a press release on June 13.

Breslin told The Enterprise on Tuesday that he intends to represent the new 46th District 

In addition to Albany, Breslin currently represents the city of Troy and the town of Colonie, among others. Under the new map, Colonie and Troy would be part of the new 43rd District. 

“It’s kind of illogical that, every 10 years, they move to strip away what you know, and the areas you can help the most, and give you a new area to know,” Breslin said. 

Still, after noting that he was possibly the only senator in the state to represent five different cities at a time, Breslin said that “the rural people have the same problems as city people,” pointing to concerns about employment, transportation, and education. 

“When you think about Medicaid and transportation costs for a patient to visit his doctor, and you live in the Hilltowns and need transportation to the city of Albany, it gets complicated, as opposed to [with] someone who lives on a bus route,” he said.

The new court-drawn map is meant to reflect census changes without regard for partisan advantage. The state’s Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, determined that the original redistricting maps, which were drawn by an independent redistricting commission, had too heavily favored Democrats, who dominate politics at the state level. 

In addition to the state senate districts, the state master appointed by the court also drew new congressional maps. The assembly maps were unchanged. 

The new maps are expected to take effect with this year’s Nov. 8 elections. Primary elections are scheduled for Aug. 23 for the State Senate and for Congressional races. The original June 28 date still holds for other primaries, including for the governor’s race and the State Assembly. 


More Regional News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.