Wallace Picks Dem Map, which Sacrifices Malinowski – Details (The Map!)

Malinowski
NJCD_2021_ADOPTED_DEC22

Every redistricting cycle begins with a suspected casualty and ends with a casualty, and in this case the

Malinowski

two are very conceivably one in the same, as sources say U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7) appears slated for retirement – or at least the encumbrance of a very difficult reelection slog – on the winning final map.

A source this morning said tiebreaking retired Judge John Wallace went with the Democratic submission.

The Democratic portions of Malinowski’s district went to U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10).

Sherrill picked up Democratic Party-dominant Millburn.

The rejected GOP map, tweeted by Matt Friedman of PoliticoNJ.

She also picked up Belleville, which now occupies U.S. Rep. Albio Sires’ (D-8) district.

And Maplewood, which is big; it’s a dominant Democrat town, and Dover (wrenched out of Malinowski’s 7th).

She did not bulk up in Montclair, as expected, with Wards 1 and 2, which apparently remain with Payne.

Payne picked up Union Twp., part of which was in the 7th District occupied by Malinowski; Kenilworth and Garwood.

He also absorbed West Orange, Essex Fells, and the Caldwells – Dick Codey country.

The Democratic Party, in short, took a walk on Malinowski, sacrificing him to get to a 9-3 map and stave

Sherrill
Big map winner Sherrill of Montclair remains a constituent of Payne.

off the Republican efforts to land a 6-6 offering.

The Democratic map prioritizes 3, 5, and 11.

Not 7.

The Republican map prioritized 7 on behalf of Malinowski challenger Tom Kean, Jr. (especially, with the idea that it should withstand merely the back blow of 2022) and 2, at the very least.

The bottom line is that Malinowski, on the winning map, gets a district haircut – and not in his favor.

The new map does kick him part of Linden and Rahway, blue collar towns run by Democrats, which party leaders hailed as potential lifelines for the embattled incumbent Democrat.

“He can still win,” Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said of the uphill-encumbered incumbent CD-7 Democratic congressman.

On both parties’ maps, U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) would get stronger, an outcome that on the Democrats’ map simultaneously strengthens U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3).

Andy Kim NBC News Today
Andy Kim: big winner on Dems’ map, which gives him Hamilton Twp., U.S. Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-4) hometown. “He will do very well in Hamilton,” said Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes. “He’s up to it. He’s a hard worker.” The reshaped CD3 district goes from Trump 0.2 to Biden +12.

On the winning map, part of Mercer (at this moment in the district of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith) goes to Kim, as he loses Ocean County, which Smith splits with Van Drew.

Vineland stays with Van Drew.

A Hamilton resident on paper, Smith now lives in Kim’s 2022 district. Kim also picked up portions of Monmouth, including Holmdel, Manalapan, Marlboro and Freehold.

A source noted that the winning Democratic map took a few Bergen towns from U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell’s (D-9) district and planted them in the battleground district occupied by U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5).

“The Republicans didn’t fight much,” the source said, describing their priorities from the outset as Kean

Smith: Protected, as he picks up the hometown services of… Congressman Kim??? It’s true.

and Van Drew.

Delayed by COVID, the redistricting season began with the expectation of an expendable Malinowski after a Business Insider story on how he financially benefited from the pandemic hobbled him. A State Department veteran of the Obama Administration, Malinowski knocked off incumbent

Van Drew tonight
The Cape May County-based Van Drew crawls along the waterfront and up into Ocean in the 2022 map, as he gets separated from more Democratic Party-friendly western portions of his district, which Kim – and maybe U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1) in part – absorb.

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) in 2018 as part of an anti-Trump wave, using federal contacts and financial connections to muscle out the competition mostly on the early backing of Union County.

But Union County Democratic Committee Chairman Nick Scutari in the end could not protect Malinowski, who lacked political relationships and a distinguishing feature of his congressional identify. The Business Insider piece made him an easy target when redistricting intensified.

Even without that story, the altered 2022 map (whereon he loses key Democratic towns Millburn and his portion of Union Twp.), and the expectation of a tough season for Democrats, Malinowski barely survived his 2020 reelection against, Kean, who now possesses a clearer pathway – on his fourth attempt

Watson-Coleman
Watson-Coleman

– to finally attain federal office.

Today’s outcome favoring a Democratic map, which Wallace explained here, and which InsiderNJ columnist Fred Snowflack will soon detail in a column, avoids what Republicans attained with their 2011 map, which benefited from the state’s need (based on population) to squeeze a congressional district out of existence.  The GOP map spawned a Democratic Primary, which pitted Pascrell against then-U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman in an ultimate gladiatorial contest, which Pascrell won.

Another detail pertaining to CD12, which is occupied by U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12): she picked up a bigger piece of Somerset County, including North Plainfield, Hillsborough and Montgomery.

Kean
Kean

 

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