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After legal wrangling, Bellone and Suffolk Republicans announce a county redistricting deal

Courtesy of the Suffolk County Legislature

A deal on redrawing Suffolk County legislative districts will come to a vote Wednesday afternoon.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey announced the compromise on Monday. Republicans blocked an earlier plan created by Democrats that pushed four Republican legislators into two districts, while also creating four districts with a majority nonwhite population.

The new compromise would still keep four districts with a majority of nonwhite residents, however the plan will give a bipartisan commission until August 1 to redraw the remaining 14 districts.

Combined, nonwhite residents make up more than a third of Suffolk’s population. The plan goes to the county Legislature for a vote. If lawmakers fail to approve the new deal, the Republican majority in the Legislature could draw district lines on their own.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.