Early Returns: SWPA Likely Target of Redistricting
Our friends over at the Post-Gazette’s Early Returns have the skinny on a redistricting presentation by Eric Kratz, political director of the Pennsylvania Business Council, and political consultant (and PoliticsPA top operative) Christopher Nicholas.
In summation, Southwest PA is in for a rough time during redistricting.
By Tom Barnes
Due to population shifts over the last 10 years, it’s likely that one or two state House or Senate seats could be moved from southwest Pennsylvania to southcentral or eastern Pennsylvania when the map of the new General Assembly districts is drawn this year, two election experts said today.
Mr. Kratz said one seat that could be relocated to southcentral Pennsylvania is the 45th Senate district, once represented by Democrat Sean Logan but now by Democrat Jim Brewster. Such a shift would help Senate Republicans, because the Lancaster and Chester county areas are heavily Republican.
In 2002 three southwestern House seats moved to the southeast, to counties like York, Lancastser and Chester, including two House seats from Allegheny County and another seat from Washington County.
Mr. Nicholas said that even though some political power in the state has shifted to the southwest, at least for now — with new Gov. Tom Corbett from Shaler and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai from Bradford Woods — there are likely to be fewer General Assembly seats from the Pittsburgh area when the new map is drawn later this year. That map will be in effect for the 2012 legislative elections.