Prior to 2013, the district consisted primarily of middle-class white neighborhoods, including large Jewish, Italian, Irish, and Russian populations, in southern Brooklyn and south central Queens. Before redistricting, the Queens Tribune found that the district increasingly swung Republican following the September 11 attacks in 2001, when many police and firefighters were lost from the Rockaways. Its rightward shift was also attributed to the increasing tendency of Orthodox Jews to vote for Republicans. Its representation in Congress was reliably Democratic for decades, electing prominent liberals such as Chuck Schumer and Anthony Weiner, and, prior to that, Emanuel Celler and Elizabeth Holtzman (when the district was differently numbered). Anthony D. Weiner was Congressman from 1999 until he resigned on June 21, 2011. Republican Bob Turner succeeded Weiner after winning the special election on September 13, 2011. However, the previous 9th District was eliminated, after New York lost two districts in 2010 redistricting, and its territory was divided among several neighboring districts.
After redistricting, Yvette Clarke now represents the district. The district has an African-American majority, and also includes most of the territory previously within the 11th District. It includes significant portions of Midwood, Brooklyn, however, that was previously within the 9th.
In the 1980s, the district was based in Astoria and surrounding neighborhoods in Queens. This iteration of the district gained national attention in 1984, when 9th District Rep. Geraldine Ferraro became the vice presidential candidate of the Democratic Party.
The 9th was historically a Queens district. Part of the old 9th became the 7th District in the 1992 redistricting when the present 9th absorbed much of the old 10th District based in Brooklyn.
In New York elections, there are minor parties. Certain parties will invariably endorse either the Republican or Democratic candidate for every office; hence, the state electoral results contain both the party votes, and the final candidate votes (Listed as "Recap").