If you live in Plainview, your congressman is most likely , D-Dix Hills. If you live in Old Bethpage or Bethpage, your U.S. representative is R-Seaford.
But new Congressional district lines drawn by a federal panel of judges drastically alter both congressmen's districts. The implications for Long Island's congressional delegation and the people they represent could be significant. Long Island also loses one congressional representative in the process.
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It's entirely possible that both incumbents have enough political strength and money to carry the day with name recognition and the power of incumbency. The voters will ultimately decide in November when the entire House of Representatives comes up for re-election.
Democrat Israel has been a popular, visible candidate in the region now since 2001. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He garnered 56 percent of the district's vote in 2010 to be re-elected.
Republican King is also a highly visible public figure who chairs the powerful House Homeland Security Committee. He has been a member of Congress since 1993. Two years ago, he was returned to Congress with 72 percent of the district's vote.
Here are some basic facts about the new district lines for King and Israel:
King would see his district For the past 10 years, his district, the 3rd, stretched from Glen Cove to the Atlantic Ocean, through Hicksville, Bethpage and Massapequa. Now, the new 2nd District's dividing line runs through Farmingdale; south of there is King's new district.
Israel's current district, the former 2nd District, included virtually all of Plainview and stretched eastwardly into Suffolk County. Israel would now live in the new 3rd District, from North Hempstead to Huntington, hugging Long Island Sound, including Hicksville and the cities of Glen Cove and Port Washington. Much of the , including Plainview, Bethpage and Old Bethpage, would be in the new 3rd District.
North Hempstead is now represented by Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-Roslyn Heights, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Both King and Israel would face somewhat different political landscapes than in the past. According to data compiled by the New York Times:
- King's current district is more than 90 percent white and Hispanic and actually bucked the state trend and voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 Presidential race.
- King's new district would not lean as Republican: The new 2nd would be 66 percent White, 20 percent Hispanic and 9 percent Black. Voters in the area comprising that district went for President Obama in 2008, according to the Times.
- Israel's new district would be 83 percent White and Hispanic and nearly 14 percent Asian.
- Although all the elected officials in the Town of Oyster Bay are Republicans, Plainview, Woodbury and part of Syosset are represented by Democrat on the . The new 3rd went overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008.
The outcome won't be known for months, but the discussion can begin now:
This story has been updated to reflect the Town of Oyster Bay dividing line between the new 2nd and 3rd Districts.