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North country representation could increase

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If a legislative task force's ideas are set into law, the tri-county region will have to get familiar with some unfamiliar names.

But it's now dubious that they'll be approved at all. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has threatened to veto them.

Jefferson County, Lewis County and St. Lawrence County would be further sliced up among Senate and Assembly districts. Right now, a total of four legislators represent the area — two state senators and two members of the Assembly.

But if LATFOR's lines are approved, that number moves to eight.

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush would represent parts of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties. Assemblyman Marc Butler's district would stretch up to St. Lawrence County. Assemblywoman Janet Duprey's district would stretch into St. Lawrence County, too. Assemblywoman Addie Russell would keep her slice of St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties. And Assemblyman Will Barclay would represent a few towns in southern Jefferson County.

The districts that are represented by Republicans Sens. Betty Little, Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie would each stretch into a part of St. Lawrence County. Mr. Griffo would continue to represent all of Lewis County, while Mrs. Ritchie's district barely changes, trading only a few towns with Mr. Griffo.

Right now, Mrs. Ritchie, Mrs. Russell, Mr. Blankenbush and Mrs. Russell represent the three counties.

Dicing up counties among many legislators is a sign of partisan gerrymandering, good-government advocates say.

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