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New York - 17th District

Incumbent -- Eliot L. Engel (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 17th takes in the northwestern part of the Bronx and parts of Westchester and Rockland counties just north of New York City. Blacks and Hispanics together constitute a majority of residents in the district, which is ethnically, racially and economically diverse territory.

Riverdale, a heavily Jewish neighborhood, sits at the western edge of the Bronx and is one of New York City's most affluent areas. It is home to numerous college preparatory schools, medical facilities and new apartment buildings. East of Riverdale, on the other side of Van Cortlandt Park and Woodlawn Cemetery, there is a large black population. The 17th reaches almost as far east as the huge Co-op City apartment complex (in the 7th). Nearly 45 percent of district residents live in the Bronx.

In Westchester County, home to almost one-fourth of the 17th's residents, the district takes in all of heavily black Mount Vernon, which hosts commercial industries and some notable health care facilities, including Mount Vernon Hospital. Other black and Hispanic communities are found in southwestern Yonkers. There are predominately white areas, many with residents of Italian and Irish descent, in the southeastern part of the city. Commuters lost one route to jobs in Manhattan when a ferry service across the Hudson River shut down in 2009.

The 17th narrows significantly in northern Yonkers, meandering north along Route 9 and the Hudson River to cross the Tappan Zee Bridge into Rockland County, where the rest of the district's population lives. The mostly suburban area is loaded with New York City commuters and also hosts a number of pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities as well as an Avon Products research and development site.

Barack Obama took 72 percent of the 17th's 2008 presidential vote -- tallying 87 percent of the vote in the district's portion of the Bronx.

Major Industry

Health care, higher education, city government

Cities

New York (pt.), 294,919; Yonkers (pt.), 88,339; Mount Vernon, 67,292

Notable

Duke Ellington, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, F.W. Woolworth, Nellie Bly and "Bat" Masterson are among those buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

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