Democratic lawmakers are not ruling out pushing back all primaries in New York to August amid the latest legal challenges to the state Assembly's new district lines.
Doing so would match up New York's congressional primaries as well as interparty contests for the state Senate, which a state judge in Steuben County ordered held on Aug. 23 after New York's top court ordered they be redrawn.
Primaries for statewide elections, plus the so-far unaffected state Assembly lines, are scheduled for June 28. But if the state Assembly maps are tossed out by a state court alongside the House and state Senate districts, lawmakers are likely to consider a later primary in New York.
Assembly districts being tossed out would further complicate down-ballot races for district leader and judges, given those boundaries are linked to Assembly districts.
"If the courts now decide the Assembly lines are also thrown out, I think it makes a stronger argument to just have the one primary date," said state Sen. Liz Krueger. "If they throw out the Assembly lines, it means you're also throwing out the district leader lines and the judicial candidate lines, because all of those are driven by Assembly district lines."
She added, "If you've only got the four statewides going in June, I think that's an argument for one primary in August."
Holding two primaries is a potentially confusing and costly development for New York voters and taxpayers. It's estimated a single statewide primary election costs $30 million.
A special master is set to submit new maps for the U.S. House and state Senate districts in New York after the state Court of Appeals last week determined the lawmaker-drawn maps were unconstitutional. Lawmakers took control of the process this year after a commission created by a 2014 constitutional amendment failed to reach an agreement for revised districts.
The tight timeframe for new districts has led a judge to move the state Senate and House primaries to Aug. 23. Democrats and Republicans will choose their nominees for governor and lieutenant governor in addition to the down-ballot races.