On Wednesday, New Jersey's 13-member commission voted 7-6 to adopt a Democratic-proposed map for the next ten years, with tie-breaking retired state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace siding with the six Democrats. The map is a huge win for Democratic Reps. Andy Kim (NJ-03), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-07) - and a big blow to Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski, whose 7th CD was more or less sacrificed to protect the others.
The proceedings were highly unusual, to say the least. Wallace, 79, was being advised by Democratic-leaning Princeton neuroscientist Sam Wang. He demonstrated little knowledge of the state's geography, according to sources, and said he picked the Democrats' plan only because the tie-breaker picked the GOP plan ten years ago. What's more, neither the Democratic nor GOP proposals were released in advance for any public input or feedback.
If it weren't for the commission process, Democrats probably would have passed a gerrymander that would, at the least, lock in their current 10D-2R advantage. But in this showdown setting, Democrats played it safe and proposed a less risky 9D-3R
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