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2016 Frontrunners Diverge on Redistricting

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Among Democrats hoping to take back the House in November and many New York Members, there is disappointment with the way New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo handled the Empire State’s federal redistricting process.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley are considered Democratic frontrunners for a 2016 presidential bid.

But the way both men handled this cycles prickly process of Congressional redistricting in their respective states is already being discussed as an early differentiating factor.

Among Democrats hoping to take back the House in November and many New York Members, there is disappointment with the way Cuomo handled the Empire States federal redistricting process. And if Cuomo makes a bid for the presidency in 2016, they wont forget that he didnt use his considerable political capital to help push through a more favorable and partisan map for Democrats, but instead let a court draw the lines.

There will be national electeds who remember that he, at the height of his power, had the ability to step in and get a map done [for Democrats] and didnt, one New York Democratic operative said with more than a touch of frustration.

Cuomo, who already has a particularly cool relationship with New York lawmakers on Capitol Hill, didnt help his cause.

He definitely annoyed some folks, said a Capitol Hill aide for a Democratic Member. In terms of his relationship to Washington, it doesnt help.

The aide noted that Cuomo, unlike his predecessors, has been noticeably absent from the nations capital since he took office in 2011.

Hes made a strategic decision that he doesnt go to D.C., the aide said. He wants to wait to travel until hes an announced candidate for president or right before.

That stands in stark contrast to OMalley, whose proximity to the nations capital and role as the head of the Democratic Governors Association puts him in D.C. regularly. He met one-on-one with every Member of his states Congressional delegation to discuss redistricting, something Cuomo didnt do. OMalley signed a map into law in October that may have angered some Members but helped Democratic prospects this year and beyond. Democrats are likely to pick up the seat held by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) in November.

OMalley is a pretty good politician, and he wants to make sure everyone in the state of Maryland, if he leaves to do something else, remembers him positively, a Maryland Democratic strategist said. The last thing on earth that you want to do is have your teammates in Maryland scream that you screwed them over.

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