2012-03-22 / Front Page

Congressional districts get radical change


Higgins Higgins

The imposition of new congressional districts in Western New York Monday by a federal judge will affect several suburban communities.

Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Hamburg, would represent a sprawling 26th district, stretching from Niagara Falls to West Seneca. The district will also include the towns of Tonawanda, Amherst and Cheektowaga.

The expansion pushes Rep. Kathy Hochul’s turf, D-Amherst, to the east, taking in a small part of East Amherst, Clarence, Lancaster, East Aurora, Elma and Orchard Park.

Eliminated from any Erie County representation is Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, who formerly represented the Town of Tonawanda.

A three-judge panel adopted the proposal drawn by U.S. Magistrate Judge Roanne L. Mann after the State Legislature failed to agree on a plan.

Higgins, who is likely to win reelection this fall in a heavily Democratic district, was optimistic in a statement released Monday night.

“The new 26th Congressional District includes my lifelong hometown, the city of Buffalo, and preserves and extends our ability to represent Western New York’s waterfront north to include the Tonawandas, Grand Island and Niagara Falls,” he said.

“We look forward to continuing our service in the city of Lackawanna and the towns of West Seneca and Cheektowaga and welcome the opportunity to represent most of the town of Amherst, the most populous town in Western New York.”

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks has announced her intention to run against Slaughter in the fall.

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