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N.Y. lawmakers may challenge redistricting plan

From John Mercurio
CNN Washington

NEW YORK (CNN) -- One day after the New York Legislature approved a new congressional map eliminating their districts, Reps. Louise Slaughter, a Democrat, and Benjamin Gilman, the senior Republican in New York's delegation, are preparing to file what would be the first bipartisan court challenge to a redistricting plan this year.

Slaughter and Gilman met Thursday morning to discuss their legal options. One is to allege that state leaders practiced age discrimination in drawing the map, since the 72-year-old Slaughter and the 79-year-old Gilman are the oldest members of their parties' delegations.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Gilman said he was "deeply disappointed" by the final map. "I am now weighing every option available to me and fully intend to run for another term in the Congress," he said.

The state's divided Legislature -- the Assembly is Democratic, the Senate is Republican -- approved a compromise map Wednesday afternoon that carves up Gilman's current territory among several House members, including Rep. Sue Kelly, a Republican, and pushes Slaughter and Rep. John LaFalce, a Democrat, together into one district that favors LaFalce.

If the map remains intact, Slaughter has said, she might run to challenge Republican Rep. Tom Reynolds to avoid battling LaFalce in a Democratic primary.

The deadline for congressional candidates to file in New York is July 11.




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